Kitimat was founded in 1950, but Haisla (Kitamaat Village) across the Kitimat Arm from the present day town, is a much older aboriginal settlement. The Kitimat we see today really began with the construction of Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter. Today, the Kitimat smelter is one of the largest and best known industrial installations in Canada and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, additional industries located in the area. Eurocan Pulp and Paper built one of the largest kraft paper mills in North America. Methanex Corporation established a petro-chemical plant in Kitimat that today serves as an import point to Canada’s pipeline system.
Kitimat is a modern, planned community and a number of service industries have located in Kitimat to meet the needs of the larger industries. Tugboat and barge services complement the transportation needs of three major wharves.
Haisla (Kitamaat Village)
Haisla is located along the coast of the Douglas Channel approximately 15 minutes from Kitimat. The Haisla Nation has inhabited the Kitimat Valley for thousands of years.