Lax-Kw’alaams, Port Simpson

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Lax-Kw’alaams, Port Simpson

by | Jun 21, 2020

Lax-Kw’alaams is a Tsimshian community on Port Simpson in northern Chatham Sound, 76 miles (123 km) southeast of Ketchikan, and 18 miles (29 km) north-northwest of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. In 1834, the Hudson’s Bay Company set up a trading post there called Fort Simpson in order to undermine American dominance of the Maritime Fur Trade along the Pacific Coast.

Lax-Kw’alaams derives from Laxłgu’alaams which means “place of the wild roses”. It is an ancient camping spot of the Gispaxlo’ots tribe. In 1857, an Anglican lay missionary named William Duncan brought Christianity to Lax Kw’alaams. But, feeling that the presence of a fort was bad for the souls of his Tsimshian followers, he relocated with more than 800 of his flock to a new village at Metlakatla Pass just to the south. They later moved again to Annette Island, in Alaska, where he gained authority from the U.S. Congress for an Indian reservation, also called Metlakatla. Today Lax Kw’alaams is the largest of the seven Tsimshian village communities in Canada. The Lax-Kw’alaams First Nation has 3,219 members with 678 living on the reserve.

Woodside Energy Holdings proposed to build a natural gas liquefaction and export facility that would be located on nearby Grassy Point. On March 7, 2018, Woodside announced it is no longer pursuing development of the Grassy Point LNG project, instead choosing to focus on the Kitimat LNG project, a joint venture with Chevron, as part of its long-term development strategy in Canada. Read more here and here. Explore more of Lax-Kw’alaams and Port Simpson here:

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