Best Practices Case Study (Rule of Law): Nisga'a Nation


Nisga'a Nation, comprised of four communities; New Aiyansh, Gitwinksihlkw, Laxgalt'sap, and Gingolx, is located in northwestern B.C. In the 1890s, Nisga'a hereditary chiefs and matriarchs formed the Nisga'a Land Committee and began to aggressively pursue self-government and title to their lands.

In 1973, the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in the Calder case held that the Nisga'a's historic occupation of their lands gave rise to the legal rights to their territories...

Native Nations
Resource Type

National Centre for First Nations Governance. "Best Practices Case Study (Rule of Law): Nisga'a Nation." A Report for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. The National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. June 2009. Case Study. (, accessed March 8, 2023)

Related Resources

Thumbnail or cover image
NISGA Constitution

Location: Gitlaxt'aamiks, British Columbia Population: 6,066 Date of Constitution: 2000

Thumbnail or cover image
We Are the Stewards: Indigenous-Led Fisheries Innovation in North America

This paper offers an overview of the current state of Indigenous-led fisheries management in the United States and Canada. It summarizes major trends in Indigenous-led fisheries innovation in North America and presents common keys and challenges to the success of these efforts. It chronicles three…


People of the Nisga'a Nation discuss custom and tradition before the Indian Act. They tell how they made the move back to traditional ways through strategic planning and abandoned oppressive ways of the Indian Act.