We are committed to working in partnership to ensure all Aboriginal learners in School District #54 experience success.
Danowh’ yeh! (Come in, everyone!)
Welcome to Witsuwit’en territory! The Witsuwit’en have lived in this vast and bountiful river valley for thousands of years. Witsuwit’en ancestors knew this great watershed as Widzin Kwah (the name refers to a body of water larger than a stream, now known as the Bulkley River). The name Witsuwit’en is believed to mean “the people of the lower drainage” and the name of the valley in which Smithers is located is D’ze Kant, which means “foot of the mountain.”
This area has only been known as the Bulkley Valley in recent history: about 150 years. The story of this beautiful valley is much older, spanning the thousands of generations that it was inhabited by Niwhts’ide’nï, the Witsuwit’en ancestors. Since time immemorial, this place has been called yin tah, a Witsuwit’en expression meaning “earth” or “land,” but more specifically “territory.”
From the Niwhts’ide ‘ni Hibi’it’en: Ways of our Ancestors
Niwhts’ide’nï Hibi’it’ën The Ways of Our Ancestors – Second Edition
This book introduces Witsuwit’en people and their history. It explores the Witsuwit’en clan system in depth and how it relates to traditional Witsuwit’en land use, spirituality and values. Oral histories from various eras in Witsuwit’en ancient history are shared, as well as the recent history that formed the Witsuwit’en Nation and the Bulkley Valley, as we know them today.
Copies of this book are available for purchase at a cost of $60.00 each through our Aboriginal Education Office located at 3603-3rd Ave., PO Box 758, Smithers BC V0J 2N0 or by email: