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Gitlaxt'aamiks: Capital of the Nisga'a Nation
One of four Nisga'a communities, Gitlaxt'aamiks is located 97 kilometres northwest of Terrace, British Columbia. Home to approximately 1,800 residents, Gitlaxt'aamiks offers rich cultural history, natural beauty, and central location for exploring Nisga'a Lands.
A History in the Making
Gitlaxt'aamiks was a large and ancient village on the north bank of the Nass River on the edge of the historic Grease Trail. In 1883, a missionary established a Christian village about six kilometers downriver. There, Nisga'a craftsmen built a large village complete with Victorian style houses, a church, community hall, school, sawmill, and its own printing press. They called this new village Aiyansh (Fertile Valley). After a series of floods, the people of Aiyansh finally moved to higher ground on the other side of the river and established New Aiyansh. It was here-after seeking a settlement for 113 years-Nisga'a negotiators signed British Columbia's first modern treaty, the Nisga'a Final Agreement.
In the spring of 2010 the village government voted to rename the village of New Aiyansh Gitlaxt'aamiks.
A Remarkable Destination
Gitlaxt'aamiks offers an ideal launching point for discovery of Nisga'a Lands and culture. In 1977, the "Unity Pole" was raised here-the first new pts'aan (totem pole) in the Nass Valley in a century. It signaled a rebirth of Nisga'a art, culture, and language, as well as a renewed commitment to securing a fair and equitable treaty. Today, the Nisga'a Final Agreement is secure and signs of renewal reverberate throughout the Nisga'a Lands.
Gitlaxt'aamiks is situated on the edge of Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asanskwhl (Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Park), the site of Canada's last volcanic eruption. Sport fishing, back country recreation, and cultural tours are available (in season). Visitors from around the world come to experience Wilp Si'ayuukhl Nisga'a, the legislative assembly of Nisga'a Lisims Government.
Local stores serve the community and Bed & Breakfast accommodation is available in Gitlaxt'aamiks and other Nisga'a villages. Nisga'a Highway 113 paves the way for ease of access to Gitlaxt'aamiks and the rest of the Nass Valley.