Ways of Life


Fishing was the main livelihood of the Nisg̱a’a since earliest times. Salmon, oolichan, halibut, herring and countless varieties of shellfish have long provided the Nisg̱a’a with their largest single food source on the Nass River and along Observatory Inlet. The traditional harvest of seafoods continues today.

In the fall, the Nisg̱a’a fish salmon and preserve it with smoking, creating a long-term food source to last the long northern winter. Near the end of winter, they fish vast quantities of oolichan from the river and render edible grease from this small and very oily member of the smelt family. At other times in the year, they collect shellfish such as cockles along nearby saltwater inlets. They also fish halibut and herring, and they hunt sea mammals such as seals and sea lions.

Boats at anchor in village
Caption IMG2008-0688-0006-Dm.gif
Boat at anchor with harbor and mountains in the background
Caption IMG2008-0688-0007-Dm.gif
Boats at anchor with another boat being rowed
Caption IMG2008-0688-0008-Dm.gif
Many small boats anchored
Caption IMG2008-0666-0178-Dm.gif
Two men in a boat
Caption IMG2008-0666-0118-Dm.gif
Dock and harbour view from outside the bay
Caption IMG2008-0666-0104-Dm.gif
Close up view of the dock and anchored boats
Caption IMG2008-0642-0030-Dm.gif