Gitlaxt’aamiks Nisga’a village

Gitlaxt’aamiks /ɡɪtˈlɑːdəmɪks/ or New Aiyansh /aɪˈænʃ/ is a Nisga’a village about 100 km north of Terrace, in the heart of the Nass River valley, Canada. It is one of four Nisga’a villages. Though it is located in British Columbia, it is also considered the “capital of the Nisga’a Nation.” The Nisga’a Lisims Government building (Wilp si’Ayuukhl Nisga’a), which opened in 2000, is located here. The area is home to 806 people and the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Beds Provincial Park. Gitlaxt’aamiks is located overlooking a lava flow that erupted in the 18th century. The source for this lava flow was the Tseax Cone.

In front of the Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School stands the Unity Totem Pole which, raised in 1977, was the first totem pole raised in the Nass Valley since the late 19th century.

Name origin

Gitlaxt’aamiks means “people of the ponds” in the Nisga’a language.

Traditional Community Building in Gitlaxt’aamiks

The name New Aiyansh was established in 1974. Though the name Aiyansh was originally at a location 3 miles to the northeast, maps now show both Aiyansh and New Aiyansh at the modern location. The original Aiyansh was partly destroyed by flood in November 1917 and the community moved to Gitlaxt’aamiks. A later flood in this community led to relocation to the higher site which became New Aiyansh in the late 1960s.

New Aiyansh was formerly New Aiyansh Indian Reserve No. 1, which was extinguished by the Nisga’a Treaty as of May 11, 2000. The location of “old” Aiyansh was formerly Aiyansh Indian Reserve 1, also extinguished by the terms of the Nisga’a Treaty like all other Nisga’a-related Indian Reserves.

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