Ways of Life


Until the middle of the 20th century, the Nass River was the main transportation route for the Nisg̱a’a. Prior to the 1900s, the principal vehicle for navigating its waters was the dugout canoe.

Using traditional cedar dugout canoes, the Nisg̱a’a travelled the river from Ging̱olx̱ at its mouth to Gitlax̱t’aamiks towards its headwaters, as well as the surrounding salt waters of Observatory Inlet and Portland Canal.

Dugout canoes were integral to fishing, and they were also necessary for the transport of food and trade goods such as furs and oolichan grease.

Canoe with two people going down the river
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Fully loaded Canoe
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Canoe on the riverbank
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Loaded canoe going down the river
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