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Kermode bear in the Great Bear Rainforest
(Steve Herington/All Canada Photos)

Klemtu

Culture & History

The lives of the Tsimshian First Nations of Klemtu are steeped in tradition and history, dating back thousands of years.

Two of the main language groups, the Kitasoo from Kitasu Bay and the Xai'xais from Kynoc Inlet, settled in a sheltered bay known as Klemdulxk, a long-established trading and fishing territory.

Kitasoo/Xai'xais History

The Kitasoo/Xai'xais (pronounced "high hice") made their permanent residence along the traditional trade route of the Coastal Aboriginals. More than 100 ancient cultural sites have been documented within the area, including abandoned villages and culturally modified trees. When Europeans arrived, Klemtu became a major supply point, trading cordwood for fuel for the steamships traveling the Inside Passage of the BC coast.

Kitasoo/Xai'xais Tours and Experiences

Through celebrations, the Kitasoo/Xai'xais peoples pass on their culture, history, and values from one generation to the next. Potlatches, storytelling, art, singing, and dancing are just some of the ways they share their cultural history with others.

Visitors to Klemtu will not only enjoy the beauty and serenity of oceanside surroundings, but also the rich culture of the Kitasoo/Xai'xais peoples. Take an interpretive tour with knowledgeable local guides, and learn more about the Tsimshian (Kitasoo/Xai'xais) peoples.

Klemtu Today

The Kitasoo/Xai'xais peoples have a strong desire to protect and work with the environment, while maintaining tradition and heritage. This comes from an emotional and spiritual connection with their surroundings cultivated over thousands of years. Today, the Kitasoo/Xai'xais peoples take an active part in the protection and management of a vast protected wilderness area.

The Kitasoo/Xai'xais peoples have always depended on the natural resources for food and trade goods. However today, other industries such as tourism, aquaculture, and forestry have created a multi-faceted economic community.