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CULTURE & TRADITION

Gitksan Territory_edited.jpg

The lands of the Gitksan Nation include approximately 33,000 square kilometres in the northwest British Columbia . There are six villages within a radius of 75 kilometers in the Hazelton area. There is a distinctive dialect difference between the eastern Gitksan (Anspayaxw, Sikadok and Gitanmaax) and the western (Gitsegukla, Gitwangak and Gitanyow).
The Gitksan culture, tradition and language are the basis of who we are as Gitksan.  Presently, in the Kispiox Elementary School, children from Nursery to Grade 7 are being taught Gitksanimx. From the first day of Nursery school, the young children will be taught basic vocabulary.
We are a matrilineal society and all members are born into their House Group and follow their mother.  Our feast system is our governing body where the business is taken care of.  Feasts are very much alive and practised withing the Gitksan territory. 
It is amazing to see the strength and support one receives from their family, their House Group and other clan members when they carry out the business after losing a loved one or to complete the business with a headstone/fence feast.

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