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Laxyuup refers specifically to our territory – the village sites, hunting, fishing and other harvesting and picking sites that provide life’s necessities.
The laxyuup are the landed properties of the Waap. The concept of laxyuup is important to understand as a foundation of Tsimshian society.
Economically, the laxyuup is the source of our resources needed to sustain our people and provide economic opportunities.
Socially, the laxyuup is the home of the family, the place where the children learn how to behave, where they are taught through their culture and learn the histories of their ancestors.
Spiritually, the laxyuup bear the history of the Waaps and the Galts’ap. It grounds the people connecting them to their past and the future generations.
Although Canadian legal analysis views aboriginal title through both a common law and an indigenous legal lens, Waap territories and responsibilities – and the way those territories and responsibilities are passed down – are based on a fundamentally different way of understanding property rights than we are used to in the common law context.
*All spellings of the words in our language, Sm’algyax, are standardized to the spellings in People of the Robin: the Tsimshian of Kitsumkalum by James Andrew McDonald (2003) in order to remain consistent with other writings on this website. Much of the cultural content on this website can be referenced from James Andrew McDonald (2003), People of the Robin: The Tsimshian of Kitsumkalum book, Kitsumkalum Social History Research Projects and Kitsumkalum elders.
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