We headed north to the Nass Valley and the traditional home of the Nisga’a people. They lived here for centuries until European settlers upended their way of living. Several hundred years ago, a volcano erupted and the lava flow covered villages and killed many thousands of people. More recently in 2000, the Candadian government negotiated a treaty that returned the ancestral land and many artifacts to the people.
Kincolith aka Gingolx
In Kincolith, we stayed at a B&B and met many local villagers. It is the home of the Eagle Band. The town of about 300 people is at the mouth of the Nass River and has wonderful views of the estuary. Until the completion of a road in 2003, the only access to the town was by boat. We went for hikes on an overlook and up the valley. We tried fishing for salmon in the river that runs through town.
New Aiyansh aka Gitwinksihlkw
We camped at Nisga’a Memorial Lava Beds Provincial Park that is managed jointly by the Nisga’a and the province. The park includes the lava flow that erupted in the 18th century. New Aiyansh is the capital of the Nisga’a Nation. A totem pole stands here, the first raised in the Nass Valley since the late 19th century.