Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw Joins the NCLGA

Smithers, BC – History was made when the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) welcomed the Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksihlkw as its newest member today at their Annual General Meeting and Convention in Smithers.  The theme of the conference this year is “Dawn of a New Day”, reflecting the change of name over the last year and the inclusion of their very first-ever Aboriginal community member. 

“I am extremely proud on behalf of the NCLGA and the people of North-Central BC to welcome the Village of Gitwinksihlkw and the people in this Nisga’a community to our Association” says NCLGA President Karen Goodings.  “Our Association has been working proactively for many years to identify ways we could work together with the First Nations communities in our region and this historic occasion signifies that we are making progress.   The community issues facing Aboriginal communities are no different than in Non-Aboriginal communities and by working together I am confident we can find better solutions to deal with the issues we have in common.” 

Gitwinksihlkw Chief Peter Lambright says “Our community made a decision some years ago to seek positive partnerships wherever we can find them to help make us stronger, more vibrant and sustainable for the long term.  We are aware that the NCLGA has a strong record of representing the people and communities of North-Central BC in dealing with the key issues facing all of our communities.  Community leaders deal with issues such as infrastructure, community governance, economic development, sustainability and social issues every day whether they lead Aboriginal or Non-Aboriginal communities.   Gitwinksihlkw knows it can learn a lot from the NCLGA members and how they deal with these issues and in turn, we can share our history and experiences and help other NCGLA member communities with their issues.  The NCLGA provides the opportunity for sharing between communities and local governments and Gitwinksihlkw is very pleased to become the first Aboriginal community to become a member of this inclusive and welcoming local government organization.”

Gitwinksihlkw is located on the north bank of the Nass River 100 kilometers northwest of Terrace, British Columbia. Home to 250 residents, Gitwinksihlkw offers rich cultural history, natural beauty, and access to Canada’s newest lava beds. Situated at the edge of the Nass River and Anhluut’ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga’asanskwhl (Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park), Gitwinksihlkw enjoys one of British Columbia’s most dramatic natural settings.

The NCLGA represents a vast area of British Columbia from 100 Mile House to the Yukon border, and Valemount to Haida Gwaii.  NCLGA member communities and local governments are located across an area comprising about 68% of BC while only 10% of the people of the province live in NCLGA communities and rural areas.