Welcomed by members of the Tseshaht tribe Click for more photos
I was fortunate enough to be invited on behalf of the Canadian Princess Resort to learn about the Tseshaht tribe (www.tseshaht.com). I arrived in Port Alberni from Nanaimo and coming across the bridge of highway 4 on the west side of town, one notices a beautiful wooden building on the left. This is the office of the Tseshaht people. The lobby is nicely furnished and full of beautiful photos and pieces of history hanging on the walls. I was greeted warmly by Mr. Ross and Mr. Gallic along with many other tour operators from the Ucluelet area. After being welcomed by a traditional song, we sat down to the very first Tseshaht Cultural Interpretation and Traditional Protocol Seminar hosted by the Tseshaht people. The effort of the conference was to learn about the history of the Tseshaht people within the Broken Group Islands from their early beginnings some 5500 years ago through to present day. It is a rich history encompassing neighboring tribes, unique practices and tradition in regards to respectful land and ocean use.
Over the course of the day it became apparent how much we all have in common. The Broken Group Islands and Barkley Sound possess an inherent beauty and productive element in regards to fishing, whale watching and kayaking, all of which support our varying livelihoods. It is a truly magical place with significant traditional values for the Tseshaht tribe and all the current tour operators that take out lucky travelers to witness the beauty of this part of the west coast.
We thank the elder Willard Gallic Sr. for sharing the Tseshaht tribe history with us and we are looking forward to closely working with them, Parks Canada and our fellow tour operators to maintain the health, well being and history this place holds. We hope to share in the telling of the Barkley Sound history as we all work to protect this place we now all call home.
From the bridge,