The Nisga'a Language

Nisga'a is spoken in Northwestern British Columbia in the Nass River drainage.

The indigenous term for the Nisga'a people is /nisqa?a/, the etymology of which is uncertain. Nisga'a is the practical spelling of this term currently in use by Nisga'a people. An earlier practical spelling is Nisgha. One occasionally sees other variants, such as Nishka and Niska. In English the people have also been referred to as the Nass and the language as the Nass language. Since Nisga'a and Gitksan are closely related and have often been treated as dialects of the same language by linguists, the term Nass-Gitksan is found in the literature.

Nisga'a is a Tsimshianic language.


Yinka Déné Language Institute © 2006