History & Culture
The area has a long history
The Haisla of the region have the longest, having occupied the land here for many centuries. Explorers, trappers, prospectors, homesteaders, adventurers, and missionaries all came through the last 150 years, and met with a mixture of struggle and success. Their stories combined represent a shared history that is echoed across BC and yet, a unique one to the valley area. Many came during the Kitamaat Methodist Mission years, staying for a few years then moving on. The valley area saw its share of families working on their homesteads, men prospecting and trapping up numerous creeks and mountain valleys, and speculating on the land during the years when the western terminus for the Grand Trunk Railway line was being decided.
We are the Haisla Nation and our lands are situated on the beautiful North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. We have travelled and lived in harmony with the land and waters of our traditional territory for time immemorial. We have learned through our ancestral laws (Nuyem) how to manage resources of our territory. We are the stewards of the Kitlope, the largest remaining intact coastal rain forest. We welcome visitors to come and discover our rich cultural history.
As stewards of the territory, the Haisla Nation has a great responsibility. This reflects an ecological conscience by demonstrating individual and collective responsibility for environmental health, and recognizes the need to conserve and restore the natural diversity of ecosystems and species for current and future generations. We welcome visitors to come and discover the rich cultural history of the Haisla Traditional Territory.
Kitimat Project History
Kitimat was the place to be in North America in the 1950s, both for the new town plan and for the pioneer engineering of the time. Kitimat would be designed for the worker and his family. The fulfillment of people’s needs as the focus of a town plan was considered revolutionary.
Between 1954 and 1956, Alcan’s work force was mainly recent immigrants to Canada. People were from many countries, all in the same situation – adapting to a new language, and a new way of life in the brand new town of Kitimat.