Haisla Nation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Haisla Nation is the band government of the Haisla people in the North Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, centered on the reserve community of Kitamaat Village, which is near the similarly named town of Kitimat. The traditional territory of the Haisla Nation is situated along the Douglas Channel Region of Kitimat on British Columbia’s north coast, and includes the Kitlope Valley which is rich in natural resources, especially salmon.

Ethnographic composition[edit]

The Haisla Nation includes two once-separate peoples, the Kitamaat and the Kitlope.[1] The Kitlope, also spelled Gitlope, means "people of the rocks" or "people from the opening in the mountains" in the Tsimshian language and was the term used for them by the neighbouring Tsimshian people. They call themselves Henaksiala, while the Tsimshian meaning of the name for the Kitamaat group – whose name for themselves is Haisla – is "people of the snow".[2]

Despite their common names being in Tsimshian, the Haisla people speak the Haisla language and were, like their language and along with the neighbouring Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv peoples, incorrectly known in the past as the "Northern Kwakiutl". The community is renowned for its delicious eulachon grease, and has produced many talented West Coast artists such as Derek Wilson, Henry Robertson, Barry Wilson, Lyle Wilson and Sammy Robinson. The Haisla Braves still hold the longest winning record in the All Native Basketball Tournament in Prince Rupert, BC from the 1970s.

Modern Haisla culture[edit]

Award winning fiction writer Eden Robinson and her sister, CBC broadcaster Carla Robinson, are part of the Haisla and Heiltsuk Nations.

The Haisla also made history with the return of the Gyp'sgolox Totem Pole in 2006, which was taken from their territory in 1929 and put into the Museum of Ethnography in Sweden. Two National Film Board of Canada documentaries by Gil Cardinal record the Haisla's successful efforts to reclaim the Gyp'sgolox pole.[3][4]

Kitamaat Village has a large recreation centre, health centre, elementary school, band office, fire hall, dock and soccer field.

Hereditary clans of the Haisla Nation are Beaver, Raven, Eagle and Black Fish (Killer Whale)

Chief and Councillors[edit]

Chief Councillor: Crystal Smith
Deputy Chief Councillor: Brenda Duncan
Councillor: Taylor Cross
Councillor: Margaret Grant
Councillor: Willard Grant
Councillor: Raymond(Sonny) Green
Councillor: Lucille Harms
Councillor: Trevor Martin
Councillor: Fred Ringham
Councillor: Harvey Grant
Councillor: Kevin Stewart



Treaty Process/Land Claims[edit]

Economic Development[edit]

In an article in Alberta Oil Magazine the Haisla band was described as "decidedly pro-business." The Haisla supported a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project proposed by Apache Canada Ltd., and also gained equity in the BC LNG Export Cooperative.[5]

The Douglas Channel region has been targeted as tidewater for oil[5] and gas [6] export.

Douglas Channel Energy Partners[edit]

In 2004 the Houston-based firm Douglas Channel Energy Partners (DCEP) approached the corporate arm of Haisla council regarding a potential construction project for a barge-based LNG facility. In 2011, HN DC LNG LP, a limited partnership, was formed for the Haisla Nation to engage in and benefit from western Canada's liquefied natural gas industry. In February 2012, the National Energy Board approved the LNG co-op’s project, "which will export up to 26 million tonnes of the supercooled gas over 20 years, with a single train that can process 125 million cubic feet of gas per day slated to begin operations in 2013."[5]

Enbridge Northern Gateway[edit]

Kitimaat Village on Haisla First Nation traditional land would be the location of the Kitimat terminus, the tidewater, where oils sands' raw bitumen would be loaded onto Pacific Ocean supertankers if Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline project is approved.

Education and Culture[edit]

Cultural activities and education in the Haisla Nation include:

  • Dancing
  • Singing
  • Language
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Trapping



  1. ^ "Kitlope River". BC Geographical Names. .
  2. ^ "Kitamaat Village". BC Geographical Names. 
  3. ^ Cardinal, Gil (2003). "Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  4. ^ Cardinal, Gil (2007). "Totem: Return and Renewal". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  5. ^ a b c MacLeod, Steve (1 March 2012). "Oil sands export visions run through Ellis Ross: Coastal wariness of Northern Gateway runs deeper than fear of spills". Alberta Oil Magazine. 
  6. ^ "About us". Douglas Channel Energy Partners (DCEP). Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. 

External links[edit]