TRADITIONAL AND CURRENT LAND USE

The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha is a hunting, fishing, trapping and resource harvesting community whose traditional territory is dotted with highly valued historical, cultural and berry/plant/mushroom and harvesting sites. Important hunting and trapping areas within the traditional territory are named after Skii km Lax Ha ancestors and members who managed those areas, including Mount Skowill; Mount Skuyhil; and Skowill Creek, all named after Daniel Skawill; Shanoss Creek, named after Nancy and Peter Alfred Shanoss, Daniel Skawill’s daughter and son-in-law; Slowmaldo Creek and Slowmaldo Mountain, named after Gyetemuldo (also known as Gyetemgaldo), a relative of Daniel Skawill; and Mount Gunanoot, named after Simon Gunanoot (Daniel Skawill’s nephew) who used the territory of his father, Johnson Nagun (Daniel Skawill’s brother), while Simon Gunanoot was a fugitive from 1906 to 1919.

The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha Nation’s members assert the right to hunt, fish, hunt, trap and harvest food and medicinal plants throughout our traditional territory. Primarily, our members hunt for moose, grizzly and black bear, mountain goats and marmots, as well as birds, including ptarmigan, grouse and Canada geese. Fish species harvested by the Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha include Pacific salmon, steelhead, Rainbow and Dolly Varden trout. In addition, we harvest a variety of berries (including huckleberries, blueberries, cranberries and soapberries), mushrooms, and medicinal plants such as Devil’s club.

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Big Game

Cariboo, moose, and mountain goats have traditionally been the most important source of protein for the Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha Nation’s members, followed by small game (including marmots) and bears. Moose are highly prized for food, social, and ceremonial purposes. For instance, Skii km Lax Ha regularly harvested up to 15 moose to feed her immediate and extended family. Moose hooves are collected and used in regalia, aprons and leggings. Recently, as part of conservation efforts, members of the Nation have reduced the number of moose they hunt each season.

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Trapping

Members of the Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha Nation are active trappers. We regard this activity as an aboriginal right and a commercial practice vital for economic, social and ceremonial reasons. Recently, our members have run active lines in several areas for beavers, martens, and wolverines, and wolves.

As a Nation we are actively engaged in responsible trapping activities, including building new infrastructure, such as cabins, for the benefit of the community.

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Fishing

We have a long history of fishing various trout and salmon species, including chinook, sockeye, coho, steelhead, and oolichan.

The Tsetsaut / Skii km Lax Ha Nation conserves and harvests fish and other aquatic species for a variety of purposes, including cultural and ceremonial purposes. The Tsetsaut / Skii km Lax Ha Nation has relied on fishing for its livelihood, including by trading fish and other aquatic species for commercial purposes.

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Berries + Plants

A number of different varieties of berries are available on our territory. While cranberries are the most common, we also have an abundance of blueberries, huckleberries and soapberries available for picking. Other plants gathered include fiddleheads, dandelion, stinging nettle, willow, devil’s club and yarrow. Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha have historically used controlled burning to improve berry and mushroom production and increase foraging areas for large game, particularly moose.