Kitwancool, known since May 1994, by the traditional name of Gitanyow,
is located 15 km (9.4 miles) north of Gitwangak
(Kitwanga) and 133 km (83 miles) south of Meziadin
Junction on Hwy 37.
Gitanyow (Kitwancool) is a small village with a population around
450 inhabitants that sits alongside of the Kitwanga River a few
kilometres (miles) from the highway. The river has long served the
First Nation for thousands of years, both spiritually and as a source
of food, encompassing a number of fish including species of migrating
salmon, various types of trout and as a hunting ground for moose
Historic Village and Interpretive Centre
Situated in Gitanyow (Kitwancool) is the historic village, home
to some of the oldest-known and largest collection of totem poles
in British Columbia. Highlighted by famous Canadian painter, Emily
Carr, in 1928, the totem poles at Gitanyow Historic Village and
Interpretive Centre bring you close and personally into First Nation
heritage and folklore.
Although many of the original totem poles have been taken from Gitanyow
(Kitwancool) and preserved at the Royal British Columbia Museum
and replaced with replicas, many have stayed in place including
the "Hole in the Ice" totem, erected circa 1850. Marvel
at the craftsmanship and feel the aboriginal spirit and history
coming from the many artifacts that are presented at the centre
including artwork, carving sheds and an ancient graveyard.
Gitanyow Gas Bar
If you require services when visiting Gitanyow (Kitwancool), the
Gitanyow Gas Bar is conveniently located right near to the totem
poles. Staying open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., the Gitanyow Gas
Bar offers gas, diesel, tax exemption for fuel and cigarettes, and
has excellent free parking for RV's, pay phone, rest rooms, slushies,
soft ice cream and a convenience store. The facility is only a two-minute
drive off Hwy 37.
There is very little else besides the community hall in Gitanyow
(Kitwancool). Most services besides convenience items found at the
Gitanyow Gas Bar can be purchased in Kitwanga (Gitwangak). Here
you can find the Kitwanga Coffee Cup, Terry's Tax & Bookkeeping,
Dollops Kitwanga Auto Service for vehicle repairs, the Kitwanga
General Store featuring a Home Hardware and a large Petro-Canada
with a café at the junction of Hwy 37 and Hwy 16.
RV & Campground
For people who want to stay near Gitanyow (Kitwancool), the only
place is also south at Kitwanga (Gitwangak) in the Cassiar RV &
Campground. The RV campground is situated next to the Kitwanga River
and is located on Bacalow Road 4 km (2.5 miles) from Hwy 37. Here
you can find a very clean facility complete with sani-dump and nearby
hiking trails. There is also the rustic but clean camping facility
at the Kitwanga Centennial Park just across the street from Dollops
Kitwanga Auto Service.
Also located in Kitwanga is the Kitwanga Fort a National Historic
Site of Canada. The Kitwanga Fort is associated to the aboriginal
warrior Nekt in the 18th century. Nekt strategically located the
fort on Ta'awdzep or Battle Hill to have a vantage point over the
adjacent Kitwankul Trail and the Kitwanga River Valley.
If you enjoy fishing the Kitwanga River offers some excellent opportunities.
Please check for local restrictions and licensing
click map for
the Ice" Totem
Totem Poles -