Gingolx, British Columbia
|• Governing body||Nisga'a Lisims Government|
|Time zone||PST (UTC−8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−7)|
|Postal code span||VOB 1B0|
Gingolx (Ging̱olx or Kincolith) is a Nisga'a Village in the Nass River valley in British Columbia, Canada. The village population is approximately 341 people. Gingolx is one of four Nisga'a villages that make up the Nisga'a Nation. The community itself has four clans which are Killer Whale, Eagle, Raven and Wolf. Gingolx's government usually consisted of one chief and 8-10 other council members.
The name Gingolx comes from the Nisga'a language words meaning "place of the skulls." When attacked by another nation or when the land was intruded, the people of Gingolx fought back and won. They hung their enemies' skulls on sticks, lining them up along the river as a warning.
Gingolx was founded as a permanent settlement in 1867 by the Christian missionaries who came down river by raft. The founder of the mission was the Rev. Robert Tomlinson, an Anglican medical missionary who succeeded the Rev. Robert A. Doolan, who had begun the Anglican Nass mission at Greenville, a.k.a. Laxgalts'ap. Gingolx's first European type buildings (including houses, a school, and a church) were all built in 1879.
In the 1890s the Rev. William Henry Collison joined Tomlinson at the mission. He died there in 1922, and his memoirs describe the community in detail.
Because of its location on the Nass River near the Alaska Panhandle, Gingolx was once an isolated village, the only ways able to get in being boat or plane. This isolation combined with the surrounding mountains meant Gingolx would often suffer power outages due to snow during the winter months. Residents could go as long as 3 weeks without power until helicopters could be flown in to fix the lines.
In 2003, a 28 km road from Gingolx to Greenville was completed, which connected Gingolx to the other three Nisga'a communities. This road, the Kincolith Extension Highway, links Gingolx to the Nisga'a Highway with connections to the Yellowhead, and Cassiar Highways and cost $34 million to build.
In 2010 the Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision in the Tercon Contractors vs British Columbia case, awarding $3 million in damages to Tercon. The subject of that case was the tendering process, in which the court found the government had improperly awarded the contract to a company which was not an authorized bidder, and the contract in question was the contract to build this road from Gingolx to Laxgalts'ap.
Gingolx's geographic location means fishing, forestry and tourism are its main sources of revenue. There is a successful "Salmon Enhancement Program" situated behind the village at Gingolx's First Creek.
Culture and recreation
Gingolx has its own concert band and Gingolx Ceremonial Dancers, who perform at weddings, funerals, and other occasions such as Crabfest, Seafest, River Boat Days, and the Nisga'a New Year celebration, Hobiyee. Hobiyee is an annual celebration, in the older days, when the moon was shaped like a bowl, the first person to see it would shout, HOOBIXIM YEE. It was a celebration and recognition that wild life would be in abundance again.
Hiking and mountaineering is common, and one of the nearby mountains has a "look-out" which offers brilliant views from three stages on the trail.
In 1947, the Sons of Kincolith won the inaugural All Native Basketball tournament.
This annual summer outdoor music festival, was started in 2004 by Community Development Worker Ellen Torng, with the assistance of local resident, Nadine Clayton until the end of 2005. Crabfest has since been coordinated by Michele Stevens along with the Gingolx Arts Society Board. It has attracted many tourists due to its eye catching headliners and entertaining musicians. The festival is two days in length and has featured such well known names as Trooper, Chilliwack, Prairie Oyster, Doc Walker, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, Jeff Healey, Tom Lavin of the Powder Blues Band, Nazareth, Tom Cochrane, Murray Porter, 54-40, and the Legends of London among other local bands, and tribute bands from across Canada, and the United States.
The festival is centered on the medium sized stage set up and is accompanied by the many vendors lining the streets. The stage itself is monitored by professional sound and lighting crews.
Crabfest has been a success for the small town of Gingolx bringing in tourists from around the world, boosting the economy greatly with the effects felt well after the festival is over.
There has been negative effects of the festival itself. The abundant supply of Chinook Salmon in the river bordering the town has been largely untapped by tourists until the lure of the music led to the discovery of the large salmon and has caused the number of spawning salmon to drop below natural levels. This has led to the closure of fishing on the river which may lead to a large drop in tourism apart from the crabfest.
Prominent people of Gingolx
- Franklin Alexcee, Chief Councilor
- Norman Tait, Master Carver
- Alver Tait, Master Carver
- Eddie Benson, Carver
- Murphy Oliver Stanley, Master Carver.
- Nathan Barton, Gingolx Chief. Barton pushed for the construction of a new administration building, and the local elementary school which now bears his name.
- Collison, W. H. (1915) In the Wake of the War Canoe: A Stirring Record of Forty Years' Successful Labour, Peril and Adventure amongst the Savage Indian Tribes of the Pacific Coast, and the Piratical Head-Hunting Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia. Toronto: Musson Book Company. Reprinted by Sono Nis Press, Victoria, B.C. (ed. by Charles Lillard), 1981.
- Neylan, Susan (2003) The Heavens Are Changing: Nineteenth-Century Protestant Missions and Tsimshian Christianity. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
- Tomlinson, George, and Judith Young (1993) Challenge the Wilderness: A Family Saga of Robert and Alice Tomlinson, Pioneer Medical Missionaries. Seattle: Northwest Wilderness Books.
- Gingolx Home
- Nisga'a Lisims - village website
- School website
- Nisga'a Knowledge Network - Gingolx
- Annual Crabfest
- City-Data information
- Gilgolx Community Centre photos