Haida / Tsimshian / Haisla / Nisga'a Schools

Teachers interested in working in small schools set in beautiful locales will want to look into Haida, Tsimshian , Haisla and Nisga’a schools. With rugged beauty, friendly people, and affordable living, this part of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii is home to 12 First Nations schools, all of them small schools that embody local First Nations values and traditions.

The North Coast of BC is a heavily forested and mountainous region. The Skeena, British Columbia’s second largest river, flows into the Pacific Ocean at Prince Rupert. It has been an important transportation link and food source for the First Nations people for more than 8,000 years.

In 1992, the Nisga’a First Nations people signed the first modern-day treaty with the governments of Canada and British Columbia, making the Nass River Valley formal Nisga’a territory.

Regional Diversity

There are 11 First Nation groups operating 12 schools in the Haida/Tsimshian/Haisla/Nisga’a region.

The region encompasses the communities of: Gitwinksihlkw, Greenville, Hartley Bay, Kitamaat, Kitkatla, Lax Kw’alaams, Massett, New Aiyansh, Skidegate, and Terrace.

Community Culture

In this region there are many different First Nations communities and the following Tribal Councils and governments: Haida Nation and the Nisga’a Lisisms Government.

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Specialty Programs

First Nations schools in BC strive to offer rich language and culture opportunities and high quality academic programming. Most First Nations schools are members of the First Nations Schools Association, which, along with the First Nations Education Steering Committee, offers a range of professional development opportunities, supports and second-level services.

Some schools in this region are Band-Operated schools, while schools in the Nisga’a Villages of Gitwinksihlk and New Aiyansh are provincially-operated First Nations Schools of School District #92 (Nisga’a).

Draw for Employees

Lifestyle and Recreational Opportunities

Here, you will find a balanced quality of life with affordable houses, pleasant summers and snowy winters. Communities are generally small and intimate.

A range of outdoor activities, including world-class sport fishing, skiing, kayaking, biking trails and hiking are close at hand. When the snow falls, you can snowshoe, sled, snowmobile, cross-country ski or even snowboard.

The rugged and beautiful, Haida Gwaii (formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands) features the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Centre at Haida Heritage Centre at Qay’llnagaay.

Many communities are remote but with excellent transportation options including the Kitimat-Terrace Regional Airport, Sandspit International Airport, Masset Municipal Airport and seaplanes, as well as BC Ferries Service.

For more information about local First Nations cultures of this region, visit the Nisga’a Museum, Haida Heritage Centre.

Salary and Benefits

Teaching in a First Nations school is ideal for people who enjoy a high degree of flexibility, close working relationships, and especially meaningful work teaching First Nations students.

This work is particularly well-suited for individuals who want to learn about different First Nations cultures and who appreciate peaceful rural settings and the range of recreational opportunities they offer. The school environments are often team-based, collegial and energetic.

First Nations schools offer competitive salaries and benefits as well as the additional advantages of small, collegial working environments, rich with First Nations culture.