Our Culture

Kitselas culture is multilayered. Our culture is in our language, our stories, our traditions, our dance, our art, our relations and much more.

Kitselas is one of 14 Tsimshian tribes in BC, seven of which are located in Northwest British Columbia.

The language of the Kitselas people is Sm’algyax, the language of the great Tsimshian Nation, of which Kitselas is part.

In Sm’algyax, Gitselasu (Kitselas) means the ‘people of the canyon’, and refers to the Kitselas Canyon, located in Gitaus reserve, on the Skeena River.

Tsimshian culture is grounded in the adawx (narratives that tell history). Adawx tell about the origins of the world from a Tsimshian perspective. Adawx are stories that have been passed on from generation to generation. They are defined as ‘true tellings’ or ‘sacred history.’

Read some of Kitselas stories here

Everyone in the Tsimshian First Nation belongs to a clan or a sub-clan. Kitselas has four main clans:
• Gispudwada (Killerwhale)
• Laxgiboo (Wolf)
• Laxsgiik (Eagle)
• Ganhada (Raven)

Kitselas celebrates its elders and traditions. Many of our members still hunt and fish, and prepare and share meat and food as we did in the past.

Cultural Community Groups
The schedules of these groups are regularly listed in the Kitselas Connects Newsletter (link to page), and in the News (link to page) and Calendar (link to page) sections of this website.

Kitselas Dance 
Meets every Tuesday at 7pm at the Kitselas Community Hall. All members welcome.

Traditional Arts
Offered throughout the year and for special events through the Kitselas Health Department. Sample workshops include regalia making, beading, cedar weaving, etc. Upcoming workshops are announced in the News  and Calendar sections of the Kitselas website, on the Kitselas Administration Facebook page (link) and in the Kitselas Connects newsletter (link to page). Contact the Kitselas Health department for more info.

Sm’algyax Classes
Offered throughout the year through community member Anne McDames, usually at the Elders Centre of Gitaus. For more info contact Anne McDames at

Elders Groups 
Go to the Kitselas Health Groups for more info about the Gitselasu Elders and the Kulspai Elderberries.