The Gitxsan "People of the River Mist"
The Gitxsan “People of the River Mist” have presided over their 33,000km sq. lax yip (traditional lands) in Northwestern British Columbia since time immemorial, stewarding the land and its resources through a matrilineal land based tenure system in accordance with Ayookim Gitxsan (Gitxsan laws).
In 1984, to seek recognition of, and to assert its ownership over its traditional territories, the Gitxsan took legal action. Thirteen years later, the Supreme Court of Canada decided the case, which became known as “Delgamuukw.” The ruling set a new precedent for proving aboriginal title, defined “consultation” and “accommodation.”
After the ruling, resource extraction and development continued unabated in Gitxsan territories and the Gitxsan people remained largely shut out of these mainstream economic sectors. In response, the Gitxsan created their own business entity, the Gitxsan Development Corporation.