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Gwa’Sala-Nakwaxda’xw First Nation

Tthe Gwa’sala and the ‘Nakwaxda’xw peoples who have strong cultural and family ties. In the 1960’s we were amalgamated and forcibly relocated to a small, semi-rural Tsulquate Reserve adjacent to the town of Port Hardy on the North-eastern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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We are the Gwa’sala and the ‘Nakwaxda’xw peoples who have strong cultural and family ties. In the 1960’s we were amalgamated and forcibly relocated to a small, semi-rural community. Our population is 1,100, with about 56% of members living as on-reserve community members. The Tsulquate Reserve, where most of us live, is adjacent to the town of Port Hardy on the North-eastern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Tsulquate is within the boundaries of the Regional District of Mt. Waddington.
We are considered part of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations, stretching from the Campbell River area up to Smith Inlet. The Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw have our own language dialects: Gwa’cala and ‘Na‘kwala. These dialects are also referred to as Bak̓wa̱mk̓ala”. Prior to 1964, we lived as two separate tribes. The Gwa’sala people mostly lived and traveled around Smith Inlet and the surrounding islands. The ‘Nakwaxda’xw people were in Seymour Inlet, the Deserter’s Group, Blunden Harbour, and surrounding islands. While many of our practices were similar, we spoke different dialects and each tribe had our own distinct culture. In 1964 we were amalgamated with each other (and the Kwakiutl, temporarily) and relocated to the Tsulquate Reserve, far away from our home lands.

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