Infobox Country
native_name = Nisunicode|g̱a'a
common_name = Nisga'a

capital = undefined - does not exist ("de facto")
regional_languages = Nisga'a, English
ethnic_groups = Nisg̱a'a
government_type = Wilp Si’ayuuḵhl Nisg̱a’a
leader_title1 = President
leader_name1 = Sim’oogit Ax̱hlaawaals - Nelson Leeson
leader_title2 = Clan Chiefs (Simgigat)
leader_name2 = Various
leader_title3 = Clan Matriarchs (Sigidimhaanaḵ’)
leader_name3 = Various
leader_title4 = Village Chief Councillors
leader_name4 = Various
leader_title5 = CEO
leader_name5 = Frederic Tolmie
established_event2 = Land-claim settlement
established_date2 = May 11, 2000
area_km2 = 2000
area_sq_mi = 775
population_estimate = 6000

The Nisga'a (IPA2|nisqaʔa), often formerly spelled Nishga and spelled in the Nisga'a language as Nisunicode|g̱a'a, are an Indigenous nation or First Nation in Canada. They live in the Nass River valley of northwestern British Columbia. Their name comes from a combination of two Nisga’a words: N̓isḵ’-top lip & Tl’aḵ’-bottom lip. This term was used because Ḵ’alii-aksim Lisims (Nass River Valley) is so bountiful that many living creatures come to it to feed. The Nisg̱a’a saw that every living creature used it’s N̓isḵ’ & Tl’aḵ’ to eat, therefore... Nisg̱a’a!Fact|date=September 2008

Nisunicode|g̱a'a society is organized into four clans: G̱anada (Raven), Gisḵ’aast (Killer Whale), Launicode|x̱gibuu (Wolf), and Launicode|x̱sgiik (Eagle).

The Nisunicode|g̱a'a people number about 6,000. In British Columbia the Nisunicode|g̱a'a Nation is represented by four Villages and 3 urban societies. These are:
* Gitlakdamix (New Aiyansh)
* Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City)
* Laxgalts'ap (Greenville)
* Ginunicode|g̱olx (Kincolith)
* Terrace, British Columbia
* Prince Rupert/Port Edward
* Vancouver

Approximately 2,500 live in the Nass Valley (within the 4 villages) and another 3,500 Nisunicode|g̱a'a live elsewhere in Canada, and around the world (predominantly within the 3 urban societies).


On May 11, 2000, a land-claim was settled between the Nisunicode|g̱a'a, the government of British Columbia, and the Government of Canada. As part of the settlement in the Nass River valley nearly 2,000 square kilometres of land was officially recognized as Nisunicode|g̱a'a, and a 300,000 cubic decameter water reservation was also created. The Bear Glacier Provincial Park was also created as a result of this agreement. The land-claim's settlement was the first formal treaty signed by a First Nation in British Columbia since the Douglas Treaties in 1854.


The Tseax Cone situated in a valley above and east of the Tseax River was the source for an eruption during the 18th century that killed approximately 2,000 Nisga'a people from poisonous volcanic gases.

ee also

* Nisga'a language
* School District 92 Nisga'a

Prominent Nisga'as

* William Beynon, hereditary chief, ethnologist (Tsimshian, but with Nisga'a ancestry)
* Frank Arthur Calder, hereditary chief, rights activist, legislator
* Joseph Gosnell, hereditary chief, treaty negotiator
* Norman Tait, carver


* Barbeau, Marius (1950) "Totem Poles." 2 vols. (Anthropology Series 30, National Museum of Canada Bulletin 119.) Ottawa: National Museum of Canada.
* [ Boas, Franz, "Tsimshian Texts (Nass River Dialect)", 1902]
* [ Boas, Franz, "Tsimshian Texts (New Series)", [1912]
* Boston, Thomas (ed.) (1996) "From Time before Memory." New Aiyansh, B.C.: School District No. 92 (Nisga’a).
* Bryant, Elvira C. (1996) "Up Your Nass." Church of Religious Research.
* Collison, W. H. (1915) "In the Wake of the War Canoe: A Stirring Record of Forty Years' Successful Labour, Peril and Adventure amongst the Savage Indian Tribes of the Pacific Coast, and the Piratical Head-Hunting Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia." Toronto: Musson Book Company. Reprinted by Sono Nis Press, Victoria, B.C. (ed. by Charles Lillard), 1981.
* Dean, Jonathan R. (1993) "The 1811 Nass River Incident: Images of First Conflict on the Intercultural Frontier." "Canadian Journal of Native Studies," vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 83-103.
* "Fur Trader, A" (Peter Skene Ogden) (1933) "Traits of American Indian Life and Character." San Francisco: Grabhorn Press. Reprinted, Dover Publications, 1995. (Ch. 4 is the earliest known description of a Nisga'a feast.)
* McNeary, Stephen A. (1976) "Where Fire Came Down: Social and Economic Life of the Niska." Ph.D. dissertation, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Penn.
* Patterson, E. Palmer, II (1982) "Mission on the Nass: The Evangelization of the Nishga (1860-1890)." Waterloo, Ontario: Eulachon Press.
* Raunet, Daniel (1996) "Without Surrender, without Consent: A History of the Nisga’a Land Claims." Revised ed. Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre.
* Rose, Alex (2000) "Spirit Dance at Meziadin: Chief Joseph Gosnell and the Nisga'a Treaty." Madeira Park, B.C.: Harbour Publishing.
* Roth, Christopher F. (2002) "Without Treaty, without Conquest: Indigenous Sovereignty in Post-Delgamuukw British Columbia." "Wicazo Sa Review," vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 143-165.
* Sapir, Edward (1915) "A Sketch of the Social Organization of the Nass River Indians." "Anthropological Series," no. 7. "Geological Survey, Museum Bulletin," no. 19. Ottawa: Government Printing Office. ( [ Online version] at the Internet Archive)
* Sterritt, Neil J., "et al." (1998) "Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed." Vancouver: U.B.C. Press.

External links

* [ Nisunicode|g̱a'a Lisims Government]
* [ Nisga'a Final Agreement documents]
* [ School District 92 (Nisga'a)]
* [ The Terrace Nisga’a Society]
* [ Gitmaunicode|x̱mak'ay Nisga'a Prince Rupert/Port Edward Society]
* [ The Nisga'a Ts'amiks Society]
* [ Nisa'a Names, Nisunicode|g̱a'a Lands] (tribal map)
* [ My World Of The Nis}a'a Nation]
* [ Ginunicode|g̱olx website]
* [ Nisga'a People of the Rainbow]
* ['ap.html Laxgalts'ap Homepage]
* [ Gitwinksihlkw Homepage]
* [ Gitlankdamix/New Aiyansh Homepage]
* [ Map of Nisga'a Lands (northern portion)]
* [ Map of Nisga'a Lands (southern/core portion)]

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