Heritage Sites

K’alii-Aksim-Lisims (Nass River)
Long ago, Txeemsim was sent to help the Nisga’a. When Txeemsim found that they lived in darkness, he brought sunlight to the Earth. He made the tides and mountains, and provided many gifts, including the animals, fire, and K’alii-Aksim-Lisims. Today, each bend and turn in the Nass River still follows the path of Txeemsim’s journey.

Sgaanisim Xhlaawit (Vetter Peak)
When the Great Flood occurred, Nisga’a saved themselves in rafts and canoes. To prevent being swept away, they tied their vessels to the four highest peaks in Nisga’a territory. These peaks, including Sgaanisim Xhlaawit, are known as the Saviour Mountains.

Wil luu-wanhl hayatskw (Where the Copper Shields Are Painted)
Located in K’alii-Aksim-Lisims (Nass River), hidden from view during spring runoff, these ancient petroglyphs are thought to be reproductions of (copper hayatskw), which represented great wealth and prestige. Likenesses of four (copper hayatskw) are visible at Wil luu-wanhl hayatskw.

Wil Ksi-Baxhl Mihl (Volcano)
As the people watched molten lava cover over their villages, Gwaaxts’agat (a powerful supernatural being) suddenly emerged to block the lava’s flow. For days, Gwaaxts’agat blew on the lava with its great nose. Finally, the lava cooled and Gwaaxts’agat retreated into the mountain where it remains to this day.

Sganisim Laxswa (Mt. Hinkley)
Located near the tip of Portland Canal, Sganisim Laxswa is one of four Saviour Mountains where Nisga’a sought refuge during the Great Flood. Some say that it’s still possible to see ropes embedded in the rock of theses peaks where Nisga’a tied their canoes.

Laxmihl (Lava Beds)
Canada’s last volcanic eruption occurred in the Nass Valley approximately 260 years ago. The lava destroyed everything in its path, sparked fires in the surrounding forests, and covered two Nisga’a Villages. More than 2,000 people perished. Today, the vast lava beds still dominate Nisga’a Lands. They serve as a memorial to those who lost their lives and as a reminder of the importance of kwhlixhoosa’anskw (respect)—for both the natural world and the wisdom of the elders.

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