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Kitksan Indians of Canada

Kitksan. Their own name, meaning "people of Skeena River." Phonetically rendered Gyitkshan.

Connections. The Kitksan constituted one of the three great tribes or tribal groups of the Chimmesyan linguistic family.

Location. On the upper waters of Skeena River.

Subdivisions and Villages

(The second name, where there are two, is the one given by Barbeau, 1929)
Kispiox or Kispayaks, at the junction of Kispiox and Skeena Rivers.
Kitanmaiksh or Gitenmaks, at Hazelton.
Kitgargas or Kisgagas, on the north bank of Babine River, 3 or 4 miles above its junction with the Skeena.
Kitsegukla or Gitsegyukla, on Skeena River between Hazelton and Kitwanga.
Kitwancool or Gitwinlkul, 14 miles above Kitwanga on the Grease trail to the Nass.
Kitwanga, on the north bank of Skeena River about 150 miles from the coast.
Kuldo or Qaldo, near the headwaters of Skeena River.
Meamskinisht, a modern mission village founded in 1889.

History. According to Barbeau (1929), many of the leading families of the Kitksan came from the north, from among the interior Athapascans and from the Tlingit, within the last two centuries. Contact with the Whites became intimate after the establishment of Fort Kilmaurs (Babine) in 1822, Fort Connolly in 1826, and Fort Stager, and European influences began to come up the river with greater strength after the foundation of Fort Simpson in 1831 and Fort Essington in 1835.

Population. (See Tsimshian.) In 1904 there were 1,120 Kitksan.

Connection in which they have become noted. (See Tsimshian.)

The Indian Tribes of North of America, by John Swanton, 1953

Canadian Indians


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