Gitselasu (Kitselas) means ‘people of the Canyon’ in the Tsimshian language of Sm’algyax.
Kitselas Traditional Territory stretches from the Pacific Ocean on British Columbia’s North Coast, about 200 kilometres inland, to the Skeena River Valley.Our people have thrived in this territory for close to 5,000 years and we continue to live and work in this rich landscape.
The Kitselas Territory is comprised of several reservations. The majority of our people live on two reserves close to the City of Terrace: Gitaus and Kulspai.
Kitselas’ population is approximately 700 people. About half of our people live on the Kitselas reserve of Gitaus, a 15-minute drive east of Terrace. Others in the area live in Kulspai, a smaller reserve west of Terrace. The rest of our population is spread throughout Vancouver, Prince George, Prince Rupert and other places.
The Kitselas Canyon, located in Gitaus, is the heart of the Kitselas nation. The Canyon is a stronghold of the Kitselas people, who once charged traders and travelers on the river a toll to pass through. The Canyon is now a National Historic Site of Canada and open to visitors. Four longhouses and several totem poles are onsite.