Who We Are

People of the Cane

The Gitga’at Nation, whose name means “People of the Cane,” are members of the Tsimshian Nation group. Their territory encompasses the mainland and coastal islands of Douglas and Grenville Channels, Whale Channel, Wright Sound, and Lewis Pass to Caamano Sound on BC’s North and Central Coast extends to include the Prince Rupert and Skeena region.

From the beginning of time, the Gitga’at people have existed, and thrived, in their Territory on what is now British Columbia’s northwest coast. The wellbeing of the people is intricately related to the health of their lands, waters, and resources and the community continues to care for the abundance and richness of their Territory in their role as stewards of the land. Gitga’at culture and cultural expression are strengthening and, as a reflection of this, their traditional practices continue to shape the day to day life of the Nation’s members.

Laxgalts’ap (or “Old Town”) was the ancestral home and main winter village for the Gitga’at Nation, located in Kitkiata Inlet on the northwest side of Douglas Channel. Today the main Gitga’at community resides in Txalgiu (Hartley Bay), though the community still visit and occupy historic village sites throughout their territory to fish, gather berries, harvest seaweed, and manage their resources. A significant proportion of the Gitga’at membership lives and works in Prince Rupert with members also to be found in Terrace, Kitimat, Prince George, Vancouver, Victoria and in the US and beyond.

The community well-being of the Gitga’at Nation is closely intertwined with the health of their territory, and the water and land and the resources they contain. The Gitga’at Nation is intent on maintaining and protecting these resources for future generations and its members are currently working towards implementing a conservation-based marine use plan.