Nass River

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The Nass River is a river in northern British Columbia, Canada. It flows 380 km (235 miles) from the Coast Mountains southwest to Nass Bay, a sidewater of Portland Inlet, which connects to the North Pacific Ocean via the Dixon Entrance. Nass Bay joins Portland Inlet just south of Observatory Inlet.

The English name "Nass" is derived from the Tlingit name Naas which means "intestines" or "guts" in reference to the river's large food capacity in its fish (Naish & Story 1963; Leer, Hitch, & Ritter 2001). The Nisga'a name for the river is K'alii Aksim Lisims "Lisims (river name) Valley". The Gitxsan name is Git-Txaemsim meaning People of Txeemsim (Raven or Trickster).

The last 40 km (25 miles) of the river are navigable. The river is a commercially-valuable salmon fishery. The basin of the Nass is the location of the first modern-day treaty settlement in British Columbia, between the government of that province and the Nisga'a Nation. Nisga'a is a derivative of two Nisga'a words - Nisk' (top lip) & Tl'ak' (bottom lip) so called because the Nass River is so bountiful in food, many nations & creatures come to the river to eat.


About 220 years ago, according to legend of the Nisga'a people, the Nass River was dammed by a 22.5 km long lava flow which came from the Tseax Cone and destroyed the Nisga'a villages and caused...
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