Gitwangak Battle Hill National Historic Site of Canada

Site Management

Gitwangak Battle Hill is administered by the Gwaii Haanas Field Unit of Parks Canada, located in the Village of Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii. The Gitwangak Band is consulted in all management decisions for the site .

Management Plan

An updated management plan for Gitwangak Battle Hill was approved in summer 2005 after consultation with the Gitwangak Band, Kitwanga Community Association and others. This document will guide the management of the site for the next five years.

The fundamental goal of a national historic site management plan is to ensure the commemorative integrity of the site. A site's commemorative integrity is considered to be maintained when:

  • The resources that represent its importance are not impaired or under threat
  • The reasons for the site's national historic significance are effectively communicated to the public
  • The site's heritage values are respected by all whose decisions or actions affect the sites.

The management plan for Gitwangak Battle Hill (Kitwanga Fort) National Historic Site is available as a pdf or hard copy. To obtain the plan, please send an email to gwaii.haanas@pc.gc.ca.

The following news release celebrated the signing of the management plan in 2005 (prior to the name change of the site).

MINISTER DION TABLES THE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR KITWANGA FORT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA

QUEEN CHARLOTTE, British Colombia, May 20, 2005 – The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of the Environment, yesterday tabled in Parliament the Kitwanga Fort National Historic Site of Canada Management Plan, fulfilling a requirement of the Parks Canada Agency Act.

“This management plan reflects Parks Canada's continued commitment to the protection and presentation of Kitwanga Fort for the benefit of present and future generations,” said Minister Dion. “National historic sites, such as Kitwanga Fort, are a source of pride for all Canadians, as well as symbols of Canada.”

Kitwanga Fort was designated as a national historic site of Canada in 1971. It commemorates an eighteenth century Gitwangak First Nation hilltop fort (known as Ta'awdzep in the Gitwangak language) and the site's association to legends recalling the epic battles of the warrior 'Nekt, who fought to gain control of the network of lucrative trading trails that existed in the region at that time.

Located close to the junction of Highways 16 and 37, near Hazelton, B.C., the site is well positioned to attract the cultural tourists drawn to the area to see the very significant old totem poles at Gitwangak and Gitanyow Villages. The Fort provides direct income to members of the Gitwangak First Nation.

The management plan, developed in cooperation with the Gitwangak First Nation, outlines strategies and actions to increase awareness among Canadians of the site's national significance, protect its rich array of cultural resources, and build strong working relations with partners and supporters of the site.

“The management plan provides long-term direction to ensure Kitwanga Fort's commemorative integrity and its appropriate use, while ensuring a quality visitor experience. I am pleased to approve this plan,” added Minister Dion.

As part of Canada's family of national historic sites, Kitwanga Fort will continue to protect Canadian heritage resources and provide visitor opportunities for all Canadians, today and for the future.