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The Nass River is a river in northern British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker. It flows 380 km (235 miles) from the Coast Mountainsmarker southwest to Nass Bay, a sidewater of Portland Inletmarker, which connects to the North Pacific Oceanmarker via the Dixon Entrancemarker. Nass Bay joins Portland Inlet just south of Observatory Inletmarker.

Nass is a Tlingit word meaning "food depot". The Nisga'a name for the river is K'alii Aksim LisimsLisims (river name) Valley. The Gitxsan name is Git-Txaemsim meaning People of Txeemsim (Raven or Trickster).

The last 40 km (25 miles) of the river are navigable. The river is a commercially-valuable salmon fishery. The basin of the Nass is the location of the first modern-day treaty settlement in British Columbia, between the government of that province and the Nisga'a Nation. Nisga'a is a derivative of two Nisga'a words - Nisk' (top lip) & Tl'ak' (bottom lip) so called because the Nass River is so bountiful in food, many nations & creatures come to the river to eat.

History

About 220 years ago according to legend of the Nisga'a people, the Nass River was dammed by a 22.5 km long lava flow which came from the Tseax Conemarker and destroyed the Nisga'a villages and the death of at least 2000 Nisga'a people by volcanic gas and poisonous smoke. The volcano was active at least twice (220 and 650 years ago). Because of our knowledge of this previous disaster, modern monitor would include studies of the gases emitted by the volcanoes and a warning to people living downslope from the volcanoes.

Hazards

If the Tseax Conemarker were to erupt again, there would be a repeat of the poisonous gas disaster (as to what happened to the Nisga'a people) could cause forest fires and could poentially dam local rivers (as to what happened to the Tseaxmarker and Nass River) if the volume of the lava flows are large enough. If the lava flows were to again reach the Nass River, it could have disastrous short-term consequences for the important salmon fisheries on the Nass River system. The people who live in the region would have no knowledge of the dangers of the Tseax Cone if they were to erupt again.

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