Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed

By Neil J. Sterritt; Susan Marsden et al. | Go to book overview

1
Introduction

Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed was originally written as part of the negotiations between the Gitksan and the Nisga'a in preparation for the Nisga'a settlement of their territorial claim with the federal and provincial governments. It concerns four nations -- the Gitksan, including the Gitanyow, the Nisga'a, the Tahltan, and the Tsetsaut -- whose territorial claims of ownership and jurisdiction include overlapping portions of the upper Nass River.

The Gitksan considered it necessary to produce such a report because the process of negotiations laid out by the Nisga'a and the federal and provincial governments had failed to resolve the issue of an everexpanding Nisga'a claim to Gitksan territory. The Gitksan objective in producing a report was to initiate substantive discussion between them and the Nisga'a by examining and evaluating the available evidence pertaining to the competing claims. In so doing, the authors drew on both the Gitksan tradition, in which evidence of territorial ownership is formally validated, and the Euro-Canadian academic tradition, in which evidence from documentary sources is researched and analyzed.

Publication of the report is an extension of its original purpose. After its limited release, the report failed to generate the intended dialogue concerning the Gitksan-Nisga'a boundary, with either the Nisga'a or the federal and provincial governments. Given the role of the academic tradition in Euro-Canadian law and politics, 1 the Gitksan and Gitanyow have chosen to make the information in this report available to a wider readership, especially to anthropologists, legal experts, geographers, and historians. As such, this book is part of a long tradition that began in 1884, in which the Gitksan and Gitanyow have taken every opportunity to educate Euro-Canadians, especially those in the political arena, concerning their society, on the assumption that an understanding of indigenous systems would lead to justice for Aboriginal peoples. 2 For the purpose of

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Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • 1- Introduction 3
  • 2- The Adaawḵ Record and Tribal Boundaries in the Nass Watershed 15
  • Introduction 15
  • Conclusion 57
  • 3- The Gitksan Documentary Record: Gitanyow 59
  • 4- The Gitksan Documentary Record: Kuldo, Kisgaga'As, and Kispiox 98
  • Introduction 98
  • Conclusion 130
  • 5- The Nisga'A Documentary Record 132
  • Introduction 132
  • Conclusion 192
  • 6- Witnesses on the Land: The Euro-Canadian Record, 1832-1930 194
  • Introduction 194
  • Conclusion 240
  • 7- Conclusion 243
  • 8- Epilogue 251
  • Appendices 253
  • Notes 272
  • Glossary of Terms 293
  • Glossary of Place Names 295
  • Glossary of Chiefs' Names 312
  • Bibliography 315
  • Index 319
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