The Gitxsan pre-contact economy was based on the trading of salmon, other natural resources, and products/goods derived from these resources. Lots of trading occurred along grease trails with neighboring coastal First Nations for oolichan (candle fish) grease.
The Gitxsan had a well-organized society pre-contact with political, social, legal and economic institutions based on the Huwilp (House groups).
Gitxsan institutions based on natural law, balanced lifestyle, respect, and obligation to the community, which governed pre-contact Gitxsan society continue to be at work today.
Since contact the Gitxsan have always asserted ownership of, jurisdiction over, and the right to self-government on, Gitxsan Territory (Lax Yip).