Kitimat River

Feature Type:River - Watercourse of variable size, which has tributaries and flows into a body of water or a larger watercourse.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Flows S into Kitimat Arm at head of Douglas Channel, S of Terrace, Range 5 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 54°00'39''N, 128°39'44''W at the approximate mouth of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 103I/2
Related Maps: 103H/16

Origin Notes and History:

Originally approved in the 1930 B.C. Gazetteer. Confirmed7 March 1933 on OBF 1420, 4 November 1948 on 103/NE, 2 June 1950 on 103I/7, 4 October 1951 on 103I, 5 March 1953on c.3743.

Source: Canadian Geographical Names Database, Ottawa

"Named for the aboriginal inhabitants of the river valley, the Gitamaat (from the Tsimshian term for them, 'people of the snow'). The Gitamaat descend from a legendary founder, Hantlhikwilas, who paddled north from Rivers Inlet 60 generations ago. No group had settled in the lower Kitimat River because of the belief that a monster lived at the mouth of the river. Hantlhikwilas dared to approache the river mouth and discovered that what appeared to be a monster head opening and closing his giant mouth was only an immense flock of gulls drawn by schools of oolichans that would arise in a cloud, circle and re-alight, looking like a giant mouth opening and closing. The band of migrants settled near the river mouth and multiplied." (information contributed February 2007 by anthropologist James V. (Jay) Powell, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia, Vancouver; consultant to Haisla Nation, 2000-present).

Source: included with note