Port Alberni is located on traditional territory of the Hupačasath and Tseshaht First Nations, two of the fourteen nations of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of western Vancouver Island. The Huu-ay-aht First NationUchucklesaht Tribe and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council also have government offices in Port Alberni. 

Nuu-chah-Nulth Tribal Council

Logo for Nuu-chah-nulth tribal council

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) is a not-for-profit society that provides a wide variety of services and supports to fourteen Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations with approximately 10,000 members. Organizational Goals:

  • To advance and protect the ha-ha-hoolthee (territories) of the Nuu-chah-nulth Ha’wiih (Hereditary Chiefs)
  • To pursue self-determination
  • To promote the betterment, prosperity and well-being of the Nuu-chah-nulth people
  • To advance Nuu-chah-nulth culture, language, beliefs and way of life
  • To deliver programs and services for members

Notable Events in NTC's Organizational History

1974: Founding of Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper, Canada's oldest First Nations Newspaper.

1985: Becomes BC's first delegated aboriginal agency.

1987: The federal government delegates authority to NTC for the delivery of Child Welfare Services. It is the first block funding agreement in Canada.

1988: Health Canada transfers responsibility for the delivery of Health Services to the NTC. It is the first Health Transfer to a Tribal Council in Canada.

Hupačasath First Nation

Logo for Hupacasath first nation

The Hupačasath are comprised of three distinct tribes, the Muh-uulth-aht, Kleh-koot-aht and Cuu-ma-as-aht (Ahahswinis). For thousands of years the Hupačasath people have owned, used, and occupied their traditional territory. They are a living history of the Alberni Valley. For thousands of years their people have instilled the importance of community here.

The Hupačasath presence is the community extends to many areas including community events such as the Fall Fair. 

The First Nation also owns 72.5% of the Upnit Power Corporation on the China Creek and are always looking for economic development and partnership opportunities in their vast traditional territory.

Tseshaht First Nation

Logo for Tseshaht First Nation

"At the core of Tseshaht culture is our chronicle of creation; our spiritual origin. We were created at c̓išaa (sis-shaa), a place on what is known today as Benson Island. It is here n’aas or nahs (our creator) granted our first ancestors (Tseshaht man and woman) the highest spiritual responsibility and stewardship of the Broken Group Islands. 

Tseshaht translates as 'people of a rancid smelly place' because the inhabitants were such great whalers and their village reeked of whale oil, signifying great wealth."

Tseshaht First Nation is engaged in the following economic development activities:

  • Fishery operations
  • Forestry operations
  • The Tseshaht Market
  • Orange Bridge Cannabis


 Nuu-chah-nulth Territory

Shown in context with other west coast First Nations

Map of British Columbia Coastline showing traditional territories of first nations
Map of Vancouver Island showing traditional territory of Nuu-chah-nulth

Image credit Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council



Nuu-chah-nulth Nations
Nuu-chah-nulth means
"all along the mountains and sea"


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