Ksan Historical Village and Museum an Indigenous Peoples Showcase

The fact is, Elders intended Ksan Historical Village to be the site of a cultural demonstration showing the roots of their living culture. The effort has always been to allow people to learn about Gitxsan culture, which is very much alive today.

The education occurs in the flow of tourists and guests from around the world that slowly starts to pick up in the first two weeks of the month of June. They have a busy summer and business ends at the end of September each year. Even if the flow of tourists has been affected by BC Ferries cut backs, Ksan Historical Village has a reputation as a major showpiece in the Pacific North West. With seven historic structures, and several guided tours per day, they expanded these great facilities to include a partnership with the Ksan Campground.

The Ksan Historical Village is the scene of both formal and informal gatherings where it is common to find people noshing on locally caught and prepared salmon. The Gitxsan clans specialize in performances. Ksan Performing Arts Group uses the Wolf Long House for performances scheduled during the summer program. 

The  big selling items in the gift shop come from hand-made collections by different artists, including cedar and other wood carvings, silver and gold jewellry, cultural items include masks, soup ladles, and plaques. Intricate House Crests are masterfully rendered in works of art by Gitxsan artists whose work tells the story of the Gitxsan culture. The administration of the Indigenous community are always encouraging local artisans to produce clothing, mocassins, and cedar bark hats. There is one Long House devoted to artists and visitors interacting.

The Gitaanmax are a matriarchal society with large investments in cedar forests, and their members have retained the historical skills in producing cedar hats, mats, bentwood boxes, bowls, baskets, and other items displaying intricate and exquisite designs. There is always more coming, the Ksan Historical Village site is reaching out to the younger generation who have been taught cultural skills by families and skilled mentors. They are learning from their aunts and grandmothers.

Tours are conducted in English, French, and German.

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The Gitaanmax Band Council supports the Ksan Historical Village site at the confluence of Skeena and Bulkley Rivers. A world-class collection of artifacts is housed in one of the village buildings, and cultural interpreters run guided tours of this impressive property comprised of seven Long Houses, including the museum, a gift shop, and a strong educational focus in the presentation of Gitxsan culture. There is a seasonal aspect to the gift shop and other buildings with features like local carvers and artisans at work. The Indigenous community employs the facilities for the purpose of education. The staff and directors of the heritage site are educators and curators, while the treasures of antiquity are enthralling and facilities, begun in 1958 by Gitxsan Elders, rival any museum in the world for quality of collections and presentation of culture.  

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