ANCIENT VILLAGES AND TOTEM POLES OF THE NISG̱A'A

G̱alts’abim Gitx̱at’in - Village of Gitx̱at’in

Sii Lax̱g̱alts’ap [Greenville] n̓i wil t’aahl Gitx̱at’in g̱ooḵhl dim bakwhl European ii n̓ihl ḵ’ap miinhl g̱alts’ipts’ap ahl ḵ’alii- Lisims. Mooji ksax̱ Lax̱gibuuhl jog̱at loot.

Bag̱adilhl w̓iit’ax̱ simgigathl wanit loot, n̓is Ni’islisy̓aan g̱ans Kw’ax̱suu. Hlaa luu-silkwhl 1800, ii sim hilthl gathl dawit ahl smallpox ts’im-ḵ’alii-aksim Lisims. Ii y̓ay k’aa hilthl dawit ahl Gitx̱at’in, n̓i wilt dihitkwhl simgigat dimt kwsdaḵsdiithl g̱alts’ap, nimdiit doḵdiithl ligii agu. Way iit m̓isḵ’a ginaa-dox̱diithl m̓isḵ’a n̓ihl lukwdiit, ii gis-lukwsdiit ahl Ank’idaa g̱anhl Git’iks.

Hlaa yukwhl dim saa-bax̱hl 1800, ii huxw amaa wantkwshl sii g̱alts’abim Lax̱g̱alts’ap (Greenville) ahl w̓ahlin- Gitx̱at’in, ii sit’aama’ahl sii g̱anjijoḵdiit ii sim g̱oodahl m̓isḵ’a n̓ihl pts’aanhl Gitx̱at’in

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The village of Gitx̱atin was located at the site of modern day Lax̱galts’ap (Greenville). Prior to European contact, it was the main village of the lower Nass River valley, populated predominantly by the Wolf tribe. Two of its principal chiefs were Niislisyaan and Kw’ax̱suu.

In the middle of the 1800s, small pox decimated much of the Nisg̱a’a population in the valley, but the death toll was especially high at Gitx̱atin. As a consequence, the chiefs made the decision to abandon the village entirely, instructing the people to touch nothing as they left and leave all personal belongings behind. They subsequently moved to the villages of Ank’idaa and Gitiks.

In the late 1800s, the missionary village of Greenville (modern day Lax̱galts’ap) was established at the old site of Gitx̱atin and life began anew. There are no surviving totem poles from the original village of Gitx̱atin.