In 1965, Nisga’a elders and citizens formed a Nisga’a organization in Prince Rupert and Port Edward called the Nisga’a Tribal Council. The purpose of the organization was to establish a sense of community that would benefit Nisga’a peoples living in Prince Rupert and Port Edward, as well as to participate in the revived Nisga’a Land Question.
In 2000, the Government of Canada passed the Nisga’a Final Agreement Act, giving legal effect to the treaty that was negotiated over the previous decades. The Nisga’a Tribal Council was restructured and renamed to the Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Prince Rupert/Port Edward Society (the “Society”) in order to secure a funding agreement with Nisga’a Lisims Government.
In 2005, Nisga’a Lisims Government provided the Society with the title to the Nisga’a Hall for $1 for the provision of programs and services to Nisga’a citizens residing in Prince Rupert and Port Edward. And in 2014, the Society incorporated the Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga'a Economic Development Corporation to create jobs and revenue for the Society and its members.
The Society is made up of Nisga’a peoples whose origins are from K’aliaksim Lisims with a population of over 1600 registered citizens.
The Society continues to observe the Ayuukhl Nisga’a and shares in its resources and responsibilities equally, according to the principle of the common bowl.
The Society is governed by a 5-member board of directors, elected on a four year election cycle. The Society operates utilizing bylaws registered under the B.C. Societies Act, created under direction by Nisga’a Lisims Government.
VISION: To contribute with one heart towards the development of a healthy Nisga’a Nation for the benefit of our elders, families, children and future generations while respecting Ayuukhl Nisga’a.
MISSION: To enhance the social, physical, economic, cultural, and spiritual quality of life of Nisga’a citizens living in Prince Rupert & Port Edward on behalf of Nisga’a Lisims Government.
We promote governance and capacity building as well as fitness, athletics and access to recreational facilities.
We promote, facilitate, administer, and deliver education programming such as healthy eating, wills & estates and more.
We strive to preserve and enhance the spoken and written Nisga’a language through workshops, classes, and Learning Feasts.
We aim to preserve, protect and enhance Nisga’a culture, traditions, spirituality and history through education, language, and partnerships.
We promote the growth of industry and businesses which employ Nisga’a citizens within the region.
Prince Rupert & Port Edward has a voice at Nisga'a Lisims Government through two elected representatives.
As a self-governing group, the Dancers sing and dance traditional Nisga'a songs at various public events throughout the year, both in Prince Rupert and out-of-town.
The elders group meets once a month and travels once a year to the annual provincial elders gathering.
The Fundraisers are responsible for hosting the annual dinner to celebrate Nisga'a highschool graduates, as well as the annual Children/Youth Xmas party and present distribution.