Nisgaa / Tsetsaut Indians

The remnants of the Tsetsaut Indians were absorbed into the Nisga’a Indian villages before 1894, which are found in British Columbia, Canada.
The Tsetsaut
Other than Nisga’a stories about them, little is known about the Tsetsaut other than bits of their language collected from two Tsetsaut slaves of the Nisga’a interviewed by Franz Boas in 1894.  Decimated by raiding and disease, their survivors were absorbed into the Nisga’a.
Their use of the term can also refer to the Tahltan and the Sekani.
The Tsetsaut were an Athabaskan people whose territory was at the head of the Portland Canal, straddling what is now the boundary between the US state of Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia.
According to Teit, Tsetsaut territory “lay in a strip from near Bradfield Canal and the Iskut across the streams flowing into Behm Canal perhaps to about the head of Boca de Quadra.
They occupied all of the upper part of Portland Canal around the BC town of Stewart, and Salmon and Bear Rivers. They may have come down the canal as far as Maple Bay.
The  Tsetsaut occupied all the White River and Meziadin Lake basins and one of their original headquarters, especially for salmon fishing, was at Meziadin Lake. They stretched across the head of the Skeena River above the Kuldo River over to Bear and Sustut lakes.”
In 1830 the Tsetsaut numbers were estimated to be up to 500, at which point they were living in the Behm Canal, where they had been friendly with the Sanya kwaan of the Tlingit and Lakweip at which point they moved to the Portland Canal.
The name T’set’sa’ut, meaning “those of the Interior,” was used by the Nisga’a and Gitxsan in reference to their origin as migrants into the region from somewhere farther inland.
Decimated by attacks and disease, the surviving Tsetsaut, estimated at 12 in 1895, came under the protection of the Nisga’a Eagle clan chief, Sim’oogit (meaning “mountain chief”).
Since the death of the remaining Tsetsaut, that chiefly lineage is now in possession of the Tsetsaut legacy in native law.
The Nisga’a
Formerly spelled Nishga and spelled Nisga’a in the Nisga’a language, the Nisga’a are an Indigenous people of Canada in British Columbia. They reside in the Nass River valley of northwestern British Columbia. The name  is a loan from Tongass Tlingit, where it means “people of the Nass River.”
Nisga’a Society
Nisga’a society is organized into four tribes:
G̱anada (Raven)
Gisḵ’aast (Killer Whale)
Lax̱gibuu (Wolf)
Lax̱sgiik (Eagle)
Each tribe is further sub-divided into house groups – extended families with same origins. Some houses are grouped together into clans – grouping of Houses with same ancestors. Example:
Lax̱gibuu Tribe (Wolf Tribe)
Gitwilnaak’il Clan (People Separated but of One)
House of Duuḵ
House of K’eex̱kw
House of Gwingyoo
Approximately 2,500 live in the Nass Valley (within the four villages). Another 3,500 Nisga’a live elsewhere in Canada, predominantly within three urban societies.
Nisga’a villages
The Nisga’a people number about 6,000. In British Columbia, the Nisga’a Nation is represented by four villages:
Gitlax̱t’aamiks (New Aiyansh)
Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City)
Lax̱g̱alts’ap (Greenville)
Ging̱olx (Kincolith)
Nisga’a urban societies
Many Nisga’a people have moved to cities for their opportunities. Concentrations are found in three urban areas outside traditional Nisga’a territory:
Terrace, British Columbia
Prince Rupert/Port Edward
Vancouver – there are approximately 1,500 Nisga’a in Vancouver, and others elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.