Lax Kw'alaams, British Columbia

Lax Kw'alaams, British Columbia

Lax Kw'alaams, British Columbia

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Lax-Kw'alaams (approx. ), usually called Port Simpson, is an Indigenous village community in British Columbia, Canada, not far from the city of Prince Rupert. It is the home of the "Nine Tribes" of the lower Skeena River, which are nine of the fourteen tribes of the Tsimshian nation. The Nine Tribes are: Giluts'aaw, Ginadoiks, Ginaxangiik, Gispaxlo'ots, Gitando, Gitlaan, Gits'iis, Gitwilgyoots, and Gitzaxłaał.

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 and in 1834 became the site of a Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) trading post called Fort Simpson, then Port Simpson. The name Fort Simpson derived from Capt. Aemilius Simpson, superintendent of the HBC's Marine Department, who had established the first, short lived, Fort Simpson, on the nearby Nass River, in 1830 with Peter Skene Ogden. One of the primary reasons for the establishment of Fort Simpson was to undermine American dominance of the Maritime Fur Trade. The first HBC factor at the new Fort Simpson was Dr. John Frederick Kennedy, who married the daughter of the Gispaxlo'ots chief Ligeex as part of the diplomacy which established the fort on Gispaxlo'ots territory. Kennedy served at Fort Simpson until 1856.

In 1857 an Anglican lay missionary named William Duncan brought Christianity to Lax Kw'alaams, but, feeling that he was competing in vain with the dissipated fort atmosphere for...
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