Documentation and analysis of Haisla and Henaaksiala
Haisla and Henaaksiala
Haisla is a cover term for the languages spoken in Kitamaat Village in British Columbia. The village is located on the Kitimat Arm of the Douglas Channel, about 10 km from the town of Kitimat, B.C., which in turn is about 60 km SSE of Terrace, BC.
Haisla is a member of the Wakashan group of languages. Other languages of this family are Nuuchahnulth (Nootka) and Kwakw'ala. Haisla is in sub-subgroup known as Upper North Wakashan, along with the languages Heiltsuk (Bella Bella) and Oowik'ala (Rivers Inlet). The southern branch -- South Wakashan -- includes languages of the west coast of Vancouver Island and Makah, the only member of the family in the present day Unites States. Haisla is the northernmost member of the larger family, Makah the southernmost.
The population of the village is drawn from a number of older communities, grouped loosely into those near the present site of the Kitamaat Village (Cʼimaucʼa) and a group of communities along the Gardner Canal, including especially the Kitlope Valley. Accordingly there are two main varieties of Haisla: X̅aʼislakʼala (Haisla in the narrower sense) and X̅enaksialakʼala, identified with the Kitlope area.