The First Nations peoples of Port Hardy and northern Vancouver Island have resided here for at least 8,000 years, according to the findings of an archeological dig near the Bear Cove ferry dock.
The Fort Rupert band lands east of town past Storey Beach is home to the latest generations of Kwagu'l, or Kwakiutl, a band within the larger Kwakwaka'wakw nation. Experience First Nations culture touring Fort Rupert, at the Kwakiutl Art of the Copper Maker Gallery, and other Port Hardy galleries.
Touring Fort Rupert
Fort Rupert (or Tsaxis as it is known by the Kwakiutl) is definitely worth a visit to see its historic cemetery, the Big House, many totem poles, and colorfully decorated public buildings. Also hiding in the underbrush are a few last crumbling remnants of the fort erected by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1849, notably a stone chimney. Sandstone petroglyphs dating back to the 1860s can also be found (after careful searching) on the upper reaches of the oceanfront tidal zone.