Haisla people

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Haisla
Haisla whistle (UBC-2010).jpg
A Haisla whistle.
Total population
1,500 [1]
Regions with significant populations
 Canada ( British Columbia)
Languages
English, Haisla
Religion
Christianity, native
Related ethnic groups
Heiltsuk, Wuikinuxv, Kwakiutl

The Haisla (also Xa’islak’ala, X̄a’islakʼala, X̌àʼislakʼala, X̣aʼislak’ala, Xai:sla) are an indigenous people living at Kitamaat in the North Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Their indigenous Haisla language is named after them. The name Haisla is derived from the Haisla word x̣àʼisla or x̣àʼisəla '(those) living at the rivermouth, living downriver'. Along with the neighbouring Wuikinuxv and Heiltsuk people, they were incorrectly known in the past as the Northern Kwakiutl.

Kitimaat Village, the Haisla reserve, is a short 20 minute drive south of the town of Kitimat at the head of the Douglas Channel, a 90-km (56-mi) fjord that serves as saltwater corridor that connects the community and the town and port of Kitimat, which is the site of the aluminum smelter of Alcan Incorporated, to the Pacific Ocean. Kitamaat is a Tsimshian name, applied by European explorers who asked their Tsimshian guides for the name of the place; it means "people of the snows" or "place of the snows". The Haisla name for Kitimaat is C'imo'ca (pronounced tsee-MOTE-sah) which means "snag beach."

Government[edit]

The government of the Haisla people is the Haisla Nation. Its offices are located in Kitimaat Village, British Columbia.

Canoe made by the Haisla members of the Kitimat Athlete club. It was donated as a gift to the UBC Museum of Anthropology in 1948 where it is displayed today.

Ellis Ross is the recently elected Chief Councilor of the Haisla Nation, and he has been a full-time Councilor since 2003.

Cultural repatriation[edit]

In 2006, the Haisla First Nation repatriated a sacred totem pole from Sweden's Museum of Ethnography, after a lengthy international campaign.[2] Their successful efforts were documented in a film by Aboriginal filmmaker Gil Cardinal, entitled Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole. In 2007 the second part entitled Totem: Return and Renewal was released.[3]

Language[edit]

Main article: Haisla language

Haisla is a North Wakashan (Kwakiutlan) language spoken by several hundred people. Haisla is geographically the northernmost Wakashan language. Its nearest Wakashan neighbor is Oowekyala. Haisla is related to the other North Wakashan languages, Oowekyala, Heiltsuk, and Kwak'wala. The Haisla language consists of two dialects, sometimes defined as sublanguages - Kitamaat and Kitlope (also known as X̣enaksialak’ala).

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://haisla.ca/
  2. ^ Na na kila Institute website
  3. ^ Cardinal, Gil (2003). "Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 

External links[edit]