At the invitation of the Tsimshian, in 1834 the Hudson’s Bay Company established their first trading post on the Northwest Coast at Lax Kw’alaams. The location of Fort Simpson enhanced the well-established reputation of the Tsimshian as great traders.
The community was also known as “Port Simpson,” when the deep, sheltered harbour was being considered as the terminus of first the Canadian Pacific Railway and then the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
By 1900 Lax Kw’alaams, although a small community of about 1,100 people, had a number of industries including boat building, dog fish oil manufactures, clam and salmon canning, sealing vessels, logging companies, carpentry, blacksmithing—all with First Nations owners. At the time Lax Kw’alaams held the largest concentration of First Nations-owned businesses in the entire province.
Today, Lax Kw’alaams owns one of the largest forest license tenures in British Columbia with an Annual Allowable Cut of ~ 550,000 cubic meters, together with a fish processing facility capable of producing millions of pounds of Ground fish and Salmon each year and a territory prized for its deep water ports and proximity to Asian markets, Lax Kw’alaams is once again a major economic driver both at the Regional and National level.