Indigenous Culture on BC's West Coast
A culture and people that have existed here for thousands of years.
Our vision for our land and resources is based on the best definition of the term sustainable. To us this means that the wealth of forests, fish, wildlife and the complexity of all life will be here forever. It also means that we will be here forever. To remain here as Kitasoo and Xai'xais people we need to protect our land, our ocean and our culture.
By visiting Spirit Bear Lodge and learning about our history, our culture, and our traditional knowledge you become a part of our 'forever'. Get informed on current conservation efforts and the stewardship of our traditional territory, a visit to Spirit Bear Lodge is so much more than spectacular wildlife.
|Klemtu is home to the Kitasoo Xai'xais people, 2 distinct tribal organizations have come together here.
The Kitasoo Xai'xais are one of the fifteen Tsimshian nations that call the Great Bear Rainforest home. The Kitasoo people lived in villages that were scattered along the rivers, bays, and inlets of the outer central coast while the Xai'xais people settled in the large river systems on the mainland of the central coast. They were not nomadic due to the abundance of natural terrestrial and marine resources which were used as the basis of the traditional sustenance. The Tsimshian traveled for trade and to move relatively short distances between winter and summer camps.
|Since time immemorial, we the peoples of the Kitasoo Xai’xais Band, situated in what is now called the Province of British Columbia, have been and remain the rightful owners, users and sovereign occupants of our tribal territories.
Our peoples have traditionally used, occupied and exercised jurisdiction over our tribal territories for thousands of years. We have never surrendered our tribal territories or jurisdiction through conquest, treaty or any other means to the British or its colonial governments.
The Kitasoo Xai’xais invite other people and governments to work with us to manage our territory but seek no permission.
|Our right to act as stewards of our traditional territory comes from our aboriginal rights and title and from our deep connection to this land for thousands of years.
The Kitasoo Xai’xais have worked with governments and NGOs protected over 50% of our traditional territory and created a "Protocol on the Environment", which governs future use and conservation of all the lands and resources for generations to come.The Kitasoo Xai'xais First Nation Council and Hereditary Chiefs manage our territory based on stewardship and sustainability. This approach has allowed the community of Klemtu to grow economically as well as ensure that future generations will benefit from the abundant natural resources, like our ancestors before us.