Gingolx is a Nisga’a Village in the Nass River valley in British Columbia, Canada. The village population is approximately 400 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 village government consists of 1 chief and 5 councillors
The name Gingolx comes from the Nisga’a language words meaning “place or rock of scalps.” 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. Gin means to give, and golx means place of scalps.
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.
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.
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.
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