Heritage & Archaeology
The Gitxaała Environmental Monitoring (GEM) Heritage Program seeks to promote, and protect the Gitxaała culture and language. The documentation and protection of cultural sites and activities is a high priority for the Nation. The development of language resources is a growing part of the Heritage program’s work. The program also works to support Gitxaała Gugwilyaansk, the process of inheritance.
GEM Gugwilxyaansk. Nii hałelsa gwa’a d mint łuutmks na ayaawsga Gitxaała., ada dp łuutiga txa ‘nii Lax yipyuups na wil dsaax dzooga ga nigyetgm. Ła dip la hooy n lip alyaagm ada ła wila dp gisya’ant.
Community Based Research
GEM Heritage facilitates the community-based research required for Gitxaała’s engagement in Environmental Assessment projects. In response to proposed developments in Gitxaała territory, GEM has produced project-specific Gitxaała Use Studies, documenting the ways in which Gitxaała citizens use and manage their resources and territories, and their project concerns.
Gitxaała Nation initiated a collaborative archaeology research project with UBC to explore resource use and settlement patterns. Since 2009 we have documented a series of Gitxaała villages and occupation sites. Many of these places, while known within Gitxaała, had not been documented in official databases. As a result of increased large ship traffic and related industrial developments Gitxaała has taken a proactive approach to get out in front of the developments to record and document our own history.
Language and Cultural Programming
GEM Heritage seeks to implement community planning priorities regarding Gitxaała culture and language.
In 2013 the program produced a booklet of children’s stories based on the childhood experiences of Gitxaała Elders in the early to mid-twentieth century.