The Nass Valley village of Gitwinksihlkw, known for the pedestrian suspension bridge which spans the Nass River, will soon have a cafe and gift shop.
The announcement follows a successful application made to the Nisga’a Lisims Government’s Nisga’a Business Development Fund for $218,000 in support of the project.
A modular building will be owned and leased by Gitwinksihlkw and the operation of the business will be by Gitwinksihlkw local entrepreneur Sally Nyce who currently operates a home-based business, indicates a Nisga’a Lisims press release.
Nyce was selected after the village asked for expressions of interest from members of the community.
An excerpt from the village’s business plan describes the planned operation:
“The Welcome House Café and Gifts will be a moderately priced 20-seat café offering a small menu of indigenous inspired foods.”
Specialty soups and sandwiches with weekly specials will be on the menu to meet the needs of the local communities.
Local crafts and jams will be sold as part of the gift shop component as well as the works of local carvers and artisans.
Also in the works are plans to sell a line of clothing called Lizard Wear which takes its name from Gitwinksihlkw which translates as “people of the lizard’s habitat.”
This won’t be the first time a cafe has operated in Gitwinksihlkw – a previous venture adjacent to the suspension bridge is now home to the Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute, the post secondary institution in the Nass Valley.
The pedestrian-only 400-foot long suspension bridge crossing the Nass River was at one time the primary connection to and from Gitwinksihlkw which is located on the north side of the river. All matter of goods and supplies were walked across.
A pedestrian-only bridge has existed at the location for approximately 400 years.
A one-lane vehicle bridge was built in the 1990s.