Located on the Tsulquate River adjacent to Port Hardy, BC, The Gwa’sala-Naxwada’xw Nations were originally two separate nations which the federal government amalgamated in the nineteen sixties. Gwa’sala home lands encompass Smith Inlet and ’Nakwaxda’xw home lands include Seymour Inlet, the Deserter’s Group, and Blunden Harbour.
The community of Gwa’sala-Naxwada’xw is committed to supporting one another in all areas of community and social development. This commitment is supported by the Gwa’sala Naxwada’xw School, whos vision statement states, “together in all we do”.
The Gwa’sala-Naxwada’xw community has 899 total registered band members, with 899 members living on reserve, and 363 living off-reserve.
The table on the sidebar shows the 2006 Canada Census statistics on the age breakdown of the on-reserve population.
The Health and Family Services building is a community center which houses many of the programs and services for the community. Programs offered benefit children and families of the community in all areas of Health and Development.
Maternal Health provides educational support for parents and families of children ages 0-6 years and assists families with accessing medical appointments, educational services, nutritional services as well as breastfeeding, birth control, and awareness on topics related to pregnancy and birth.
The Post Natal program has 2 main services that support new parents and families in the community. The Cultural Playgroup was created to introduce culture amongst children at a young age and the Post Natal Sewing group allows new parents to come together to share and create items for their new babies.
To address the issue of diabetes head on in the community a Diabetes Prevention program was developed to raise awareness and provide supportive education. Twice a week there are fitness classes offered to Elders with diabetes; classes for people at risk for diabetes and a healthy meals and cooking program which teaches diabetics healthy cooking and living on a limited budget.
The Healthy Children Program provides services to children in the community in all areas of health; teeth varnishing, doctor appointment scheduling, dental information, immunizations, and paediatrician visits. Quarterly the program hosts a Healthy Kids Fair for 3-5 year olds. Further services at the centre are provided by a NNADAP worker, a Mental Health Worker, Family Support Worker, 2 Early Childhood Education Program workers, and nurses.
The Gwa’sala-Naxwada’xw Band Office is another centre of activity in the Tsulquate reserve. The following departments operate out of the Band Office: economic development, education, housing, finance, natural resource management, communications, social development, the Treaty library and the Treaty office. The Band Manager, working out of the Band Office, liases between elected Chief & Council and the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw staff to meet the needs of community members.
The band entered into a settlement agreement with the Government of Canada in 2008. A Trust Committee was created of community members and two non-community members. Their role is to review proposals and distribute the funds as needed. They have recently funded programs for culture, youth and sports recreation and Elders support. Their long-term vision is to begin working towards economic development and creating jobs for their community members.
For more info, please visit their website: www.gwanak.info