Gingolx is located near the mouth of Nass Bay, about 2.5 miles (4 km) from Portland Inlet, 105 miles (170 km) northwest of Terrace, and 51 miles (82 km) north-northeast of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Gingolx is one of four Nisga’a villages that make up the Nisga’a Nation. The name Gingolx comes from the Nisga’a language words meaning “scalp givers”. Historically, the people of Gingolx would hang their enemies’ scalps on sticks as a warning to intruders.
The site of Gingolx has been inhabited for millennia on a seasonal basis by clans of the Nisga’a. The village was extremely isolated and before contact with settlers the Daaxan, or the Killerwhale clan, inhabited the eastern side of the village, and the Gitxun, or Eagle clan, inhabited the western side of the village. Gingolx became a permanent settlement in 1867 when Christian missionaries came down the river by raft. The first European type buildings included a church and school built in 1879. Today, the community has four clans including Killer Whale, Eagle, Raven, and Wolf. In 2003, a road 17 miles (28 km) long was completed from Gingolx to Greenville which connected Gingolx to the other three Nisga’a communities. This road, the Kincolith Extension Highway, links Gingolx to the Nisga’a Highway with connections to the Yellowhead and Cassiar Highways.
The Nass River flows southwest for 240 miles (380 km) from the Coast Mountains to Nass Bay, off of Portland Inlet, and connects to the North Pacific Ocean via Dixon Entrance. The English name “Nass” is derived from the Tlingit name “Naas” which means “intestines” or “guts” in reference to the river as a source of food. The Nisga’a name for the river is “K’alii Aksim Lisims” or “Lisims Valley”, where “Lisims” means “murky” referring to the river’s silt-laden flow. The last 25 miles (40 km) of the river are navigable and the river still supports a commercially valuable salmon fishery. Read more here and here. Explore more of Gingolx here: