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For hundreds of years, the Haisla people have traditionally occupied many village sites and used their territory, over 394,963 hectares (approximately 4million acres) of land and water ways of that branch off from the Douglas Channel inlets on British Columbia's North Coast namely:
- Devastation Channel to Gardner Canal leading into Kemano, Kowesas and Kitlope.
- Devastation Channel through Ursula Channel to Fraser reach passing Monkey Beach, Bishop Bay to Butedale.
Our aboriginal rights and title have existed since time immemorial - the right to make decisions on how the land and its resources are used and the responsibility to steward the land and resources on behalf of this and future generations.
The word “Kitamaat” comes from the Tsimshian people, who originate from the Prince Rupert and Metlakatla areas, also on British Columbia’s North Coast. “Kitamaat” means People of the Snow in Tsimshian. The Haisla Name for Kitamaat Village is Tsee-Motsa which means Snag beach. Most Haisla continue to carry on the tradition of hunting, berry picking, gathering, and fishing.
The Haisla Natural Resource Department currently conducts monitoring and stewardship of cultural and natural resources on the territory through programs such as the Haisla Fisheries Commission, marine use planning process, and Haisla Watchmen.
Our vision is to be the “eyes and ears” of our traditional territory resulting in a “share and say” in resource use and management.
What are we monitoring?:
The Haisla Fisheries Program currently undertakes the following monitoring activities:
- Research and monitoring of salmonids, including stream assessments
- Monitoring Oolichan runs particularly in the Kemano, Kitlope, Kitimat Kildala rivers
- Monitoring food, social and ceremonial catch and community access
- Conducting a whale study
- Observe, record and report all seasonal activities, in the Kitlope and Kowesas watersheds and all Parks and Conservancy.
- Observe, record and report all seasonal wildlife, boat, and trap sighting.
Relevant documents and websites:
Manager, Haisla Natural Resource Management Division
Marine Use Planning/Guardian Watchman Program
Haisla Fisheries Commission