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About the Gitxsan

About the Gitxsan

Working Towards an Equitable Canada: July 1 Statement

The problem of systemic racism was not created overnight.

Today as we celebrate the country that we call Canada, let’s remember that the formation of the constitution 153 years ago brought forth the bureaucratic persecution of indigenous people that has lasted for generations.

Through the injustice, indigenous people have fought for change both in momentous and revolutionary ways like the Delgamuukw court case that challenged the crown and paved the way for indigenous rights around the world. And through other actions that have resulted in policy or paradigm shifts like the Columbus Day Ships takeover.

But change has also been born through persistence over a century of dismissals, hardships, and opposition in daily, unseen ways.

Before the arrival of European immigrants, the Gitxsan ran an effective matrilineal society governed by its own set of laws that ensured a harmonious relationship with the land. Today, the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs are exercising their right to self-governance and claiming sovereignty over their traditional territory.

In 150 years from now, we believe that we can have a better country where ALL people have a fair chance to build a life of freedom and prosperity.

On this Canada Day, in a pivotal year for the world, let us commit to embrace awareness and actively pursue change together. Persecution is perpetuated by ignorance as much as prejudice.


Sign up to watch the film that describes the Gitxsan Huwilp Government’s fight for change:


In 1971 representatives of the Gitxsan & Wet’suwet’en peacefully boarded ships sent by the Spanish Government to North America to commemorate Columbus Day. They successfully set off a chain of events that has resulted in Indigenous People’s Day replacing Columbus Day in regions around the world. Individuals can change history.

About the Gitxsan

Meet the participating Simgiigyet and support team

GYEETS (Down River)

Tsauulst (Amanda Zettergreen)
Molaxan (Norman Moore)
Sakimhigookxw (Vernon Smith)
Sanoss (Rod Johnson)
Guxsun (Larry Marsden)
Aliist (Linda Williams)
Gwisgyen (Robin Alexander)
Xgogimlaxha (Vernon Milton) Skay’an (Anita Davis)
Gwagalo (Rod Sampare)
Axtiihiikxw (Sam Derrick)
Ladaax (Marge Quock)
Simidiiks (Calvin Hyzims)
Crystal Tolmie
Nisnohl (Ray Jones)
Yoobx (Dale Good)

*Seats held for: Wii Hlengwax (Lance Williams, Dinimgyet (Art Mathews), Haluus (William Morrison) and Gila wo’o (Alvin Hyzims


Xgwoimtxw (Sadie Harris)
Nii gyap (Rena Benson)
Xhliiyeeimlaxha (John Olson)
Maus (Bill Blackwater Jr)
Xsimwiitsiin (Lester Moore)
O’yee (Cliff Sampare)
Yagosip (Bill Turner)
Niisgimiinuu (Bob Campbell)
Wiimuugilsxw (Art Wilson) Stuutximlaxha (George Sampare)
Wii Alaast (Jim Angus)
Nist/Baskyalaha (Bill Blackwater Sr.)
Dawamuux (Mae Martin)
Djogasle (Ted Mowatt)
Geel (Cathy Blackstock)
Gwiiyeehl (Brian Williams)
Gitludahl (Alvin Weget)
Luus (Roy Wilson)
Nikateen (Francis Sampson)

*Seats held for: Delgamuukw (Earl Muldon), Gyolugyet (Fedelia O’Brien), Spookw/Guuhat’akw (Norm Stephens) and Gyet’em Galdo’o (George Grey

Not participating on specific request: Gwininitxw (Yvonne Lattie)

Have questions?

The GYEETS (Down River) and GIGEENIX (Up River) Simgiigyet meet regularly.

View the calendar for a full list of events.

Email us

Meet the Supporting Team


Sakimhigookxw (Vernon Smith)



Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.43.31 PM

Darius Muldoe

Video Coordinator
Gwiiyeehl (Brian Williams)
Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.44.32 PM

Gordon Sebastian


Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.43.23 PM

Karla Green

Communication Assistant
Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 12.43.42 PM

Louis Hnidan

Video Coordinator

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About the Gitxsan

The Traditional Gitxsan Laxyip (Territory)

The Gitxsan traditional territories occupy an area of 33,000 square kilometres (about five times the size of P.E.I.) in northwest British Columbia. The laxyip is governed by 60 Simgiigyet within the traditional hereditary system made up of Wilps. Of that 38 Wilps are represented on the Huwilp Government.

The Babine, Bulkley, Kispiox and Skeena Rivers are all found in Gitxsan territory and they are home to abundant salmon and steelhead runs. It is a land of rugged, glacier-capped mountains, lush forests and swiftly flowing rivers heavily influenced by the north Pacific Ocean climate.

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