Our territory’s resources have sustained us for generations, providing us with food, shelter, and livelihood. We have worked hard to harvest food, build our villages, and develop the resources we need to survive. The land is connected to our past, our culture, and now, our future.
by Haisla Nation
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The Haisla are a First Nations people in Canada who reside in the North Coast region of British Columbia, centred on the reserve community of Kitamaat Village, which is near the similarly named town of Kitimat. Their traditional territory is along the Douglas Channel Region of Kitimat of British Columbia’s north coast and includes the Kitlope Valley which is rich in natural resources, especially salmon.
The majority speak English. Those who do converse in a native tongue speak Haisla, which consists of two dialects, the Kitamaat and the Kitlope. The Kitlope, also spelled Gitlope, means "people of the rocks" or "people from the opening in the mountains". They call themselves Henaksiala, while the Tsimshian meaning of the name for the Kitamaat group – whose name for themselves is Haisla – is "people of the snow".
The Haisla social system is based on matrilineal clans. Eight clans (Eagle, Beaver, Crow, Killer Whale, Wolf, Frog, Raven, and Salmon) make up the community, each clan with its own chief, resources area, and winter village.
Most Haisla continue to carry on the traditions of hunting, berry picking, gathering and fishing. Every spring, Haisla family groups still travel to the Kemano River for oolichan fishing. At this time, the village is full of the rich smell of the fish smoking. After a long, hard North Coast winter, oolichan are the first fish returning to spawn in local rivers. The Haisla use oolichan for almost everything, from food to medicine. Haisla people learned to boil oolichan and make it into a pure white grease, becoming experts producing a quality well known up and down BC’s Coast. Haisla people still trade this valuable commodity with neighbouring villages.
Pray that the Haisla will understand that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for all people, transforming them internally, and that new birth and being "born again" with Christ is a once and forever experience providing everlasting peace and an eternal home.
Pray God will work in the lives of Haisla via dreams, the Word of God, and Christians who come alongside them.