Gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest
Gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest
Nuxalk Nation

photo by Skip Saunders

“Our Lands are a Sacred Gift. The Land is Provided for the Continued Use, Benefit & Enjoyment of Our People, the Nuxalkmc. And it is Our Ultimate Obligation to Tatau, the Creator, to Care for & Protect it.” –


The history of the Valley dates back 10,000 years according to oral history and archeological estimates. The first Native People who lived in villages along the rivers and coastline were known as Bella Coola or Nuxalkmc people.

Sun Mask Nuxalkmc

Sun Mask circ. 1870

Today´s visitors experience a community where history melds comfortably into everyday life.

You will meet world-renowned carvers at their galleries and visit a school that boasts works of art and teaches young people an ancient language.

Petroglyphs in Bella Coola

Petroglyphs in Bella Coola

One of the highlights of Bella Coola is a guided hike to the petroglyphs at Thorsen Creek, which archeologists have dated to between 5-10,000 years.

Follow a Nuxalk guide along the magical forested route and immerse yourself in this ancient culture.

On a high bank, surrounded by forest, you gaze at weathered etchings of human faces, and others of frogs, fish and geometric patterns carved into rock.

The wind whispers through the trees as your guide chants and relates legends. This is a spiritual place and should be experienced with a knowledgeable Nuxalk guide. This may well be the heart of Bella Coola.

A visit to a school is not usually on a tourist itinerary, located in Four Mile Subdivision is a First Nations school for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students, displays incredible works of local art. Don´t miss seeing the magnificent totem pole carved by a teacher and three students. Erected in 2002, it is the first Nuxalk totem pole to be put up in 38 years.

Or, sign up for a Totem Guided Tour provided by Copper Sun Journeys .


Related Videos:

“Cry Rock” illuminates the intersection of Nuxalk History, Place & Spirit that are at the heart of an oral storytelling tradition.

Watch the Broadcast Premiere on the Knowledge Network.

For more information visit:

Filmmaker’s website: