Gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest
Great Bear Rainforest Bella Coola
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.” –

Totem Saunders Home

Sun Mask Nuxalkmc

Sun Mask circ. 1870


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.

chris nelson petrogylph guide

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

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

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. Or visit the iconic of House of Numst’ downtown.


House of Numst’

“Nuxalkmc (Nuxalk people) have been occupying the lands & waters of our ancestral territory since time immemorial. The Nuxalk Nation is a mixture of many villages that are distributed throughout kulhulmcilh (our land), including the four largest villages: Talyu in Ats’aaxlh (South Bentick); Suts’lhm (Kimsquit) to the north -this includes Satskw’ (Kimsquit River) and Nutl’l (Dean River); Kwalhna to the west; and Q’umk’uts’ to the east.”

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.

Be sure to tune into 91.1 FM for Nuxalk Radio. Nuxalk Radio is a non-commercial community radio station broadcasting from the Nuxalk village of Q’umk’uts’ (Bella Coola) and online.91.1 fm nuxalk radio


Silyas (Arthur Saunders) standing by the Saunders Family Pole outside his home

Sign up for a Totem Guided Tour provided by Copper Sun Journeys . It’s the one Bella Coola Tour that is most praised & not to be missed.

And although 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

Petroglyphs in Bella Coola

Petroglyphs in Bella Coola

pole to be put up in 38 years.

Nuxalk Nation Administration
Contact Information: Nuxalk Administration
PO Box 65
Bella Coola BC V0T 1C0
Phone 250.799.5959
Fax 250.799.5426

Related Information: Video

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

For more information visit:
Filmmaker’s website:

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