ANCIENT VILLAGES AND TOTEM POLES OF THE NISG̱A'A

G̱alts’abim Lax̱ D’ioots’ip - Village of Lax̱ D’ioots’ip

Fishery Bay
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Fishery Bay Photo
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Lax̱-Da’oots’ip wil adigwil jax̱joḵhl Nisg̱a’a g̱anhl hlag̱ats’uuhl gathl w̓o’otgwit ahl dim sisaakdiit. Hugax̱athl hlag̱ats’uu wil jax̱joḵhl Nisg̱a’a wil sihoondiit lax̱-ḵ’alii-Lisims.

Sim n̓i wil hliskwhl sisaakdiit g̱anhl t’ilx, wil k’ii gwilks-luxwlukwdiit ahl g̱alts’ap wil bakwdiit. N̓ig̱ant siwadihl ḵ’amksiiwaa ahl Fishery Bay.

Tx̱aa dilukwdihl gathl g̱ahlgidiit g̱anhl wil n̓aat’ahldiit ahl hloḵsa Buxwlaḵs, dim gwildim g̱oodadiit ahl dim sisaakdiit. Ligii gilpilhl g̱anuutkwhl wandiit ahl hloḵsa X̱saak, wil wayt gisi- sakskwhl saak.

Hlaa hliskwdiit, iit sayt luu-t’ahldiithl saak ts’im-ansaan, iit gibadiithl dim loḵt. Hlaa loḵt ii gyuwil yeehl t’ilxhl da’aḵhlkwdiithl jamdiit ts’im-x̱biisim g̱al’inḵ, mit’indiit ahl aks.

Yukwhl wilhl gat, ii sim lukw’il ts’axwhl g̱ahahlal̓shl wanit loot, nidiit naa ji gidii-t’aat. Sim ts’axwhl g̱alay̓hl Lax̱-Da’oots’ip hiig̱ooḵ, ii g̱aalans gus, ii sim g̱awsukwt hlaa gwilks-luxwlukwhl gat ahl wil bakw diit.

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Lax̱-Da’oots’ip was a seasonal fishing station where the Nisg̱a’a and their occasional invited guests from other Northwest Coast nations would harvest the precious oolichan fish. Like many smaller fishing stations and camps along the Nass River, it was only occupied for a few weeks of the year specifically for the purposes of the fishery. In modern times, the location has been more commonly known by its English name, Fishery Bay.

Families would migrate to Lax̱-Da’oots’ip from other parts of the Nass valley during the month of February to prepare their family camps, and they would then harvest the oolichan generally during a two-week period during the first half of March as the fish ascended the river from the sea to spawn.

After the harvest, they would store the oolichan in large outdoor bins and allow the fish to begin the early stages of decomposition. When they were slightly decomposed, it was easier to render the valuable grease from the oolichan by boiling them in large cedar bent boxes full of water.

During this entire period, there were many people and much human activity at Lax̱-Da’oots’ip, which took on the character of a large village despite only being a seasonal fishing station. The rest of the year, the location was empty and quiet.