Communities

The approximately 6,500 permanent residents of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region live between five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations communities and two municipalities. Explore the places we call home below. 

Hesquiaht First Nation

Hesquiaht is the most remote and northerly of the Nuu-chah-Nulth First Nations in Clayoquot Sound. Ninety minutes north of tofino by power boat (depending on the weather), the Hesquiaht village of Hot Springs Cove has approximately 40 homes and about 100 residents, with other Hesquiaht members living in Port Alberni and elsewhere on Vancouver Island and the mainland.  The Nation has recently constructed a “green” school and has committed to being a zero net energy community.  Their territory includes the well-known natural hot springs on the Openit Peninsula and colonial site of Cougar Annie’s Gardens in Hesquiaht basin. The Nation is becoming a leader in local food security and food independence initiatives.

Ahousaht

Ahousaht is the largest of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations with over 2000 members. Located in a small bay on the east side of Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound is the village of Maaqtusiis where roughly 1/3 of their members reside. The traditional territories of the Ahousaht people are bordered by the Hesquiaht and Tla-o-qui-aht nations to the north and south respectively. These territories are home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem and a rare ancient temperate rain forest. The Ahousaht people have lived in harmony with these territories since time immemorial guided by an understanding of the Nuu-chah-nulth worldview, “Hishuk ish tsawalk” which means “everything is one.”
 

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations

The Tla-o-qui-aht Nation has over 1200 members and three main communities: Esowista and Ty Histanis, both located at the north end of Long Beach south of Tofino; and Opitsaht, on Meares Island. It operates an award-winning resort-hotel and has established Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks and watersheds in Tla-o-qui-aht traditional territory.  Tla-o-qui-aht has managed to balance human and ecosystem well-being in their operations since time immemorial, as taught by Tla-o-qui-aht ancestors and adapted to today’s world.

Tofino

Tofino is a community of approximately 2000 people, located on the Esowista Peninsula of Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  The town, located in a part of the territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht nations known as Načiks, is surrounded by coastal temperate rainforests and just north a number of sandy beaches. Tofino is one of the larger service hubs in the region. The gateway to Clayoquot Sound, Tofino provides access to other communities in the region by boat and air travel. Tofino has a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, library, elementary school, daycares, post office, bank, credit union, several grocery stores, and two gas stations.

Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ

The territory of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government includes nine traditional sites on the northwest side of Barkley Sound, south of the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere designated area. The main village of Hitacu (Ittatsoo), with a population of approximately 200 residents, is located on the north side of Ucluelet Inlet adjacent to the village of Ucluelet, 3 minutes by boat or 28 kilometres by road from Ucluelet.  The Nation’s vision statement emphasizes environmental stewardship, safe housing, education and economic independence, as well as healthy relationships with other neighbours and governments.

Ucluelet

Ucluelet is a community of approximately 1,800 people south of the formal UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere designated area, and an integral component of the region’s community fabric.  It provides easy access to Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands Unit of Pacific Rim National Park. This award-winning community is becoming a major tourist destination while providing quality services and amenities for permanent residents, such as a beautifully designed and well-used community centre.  Ucluelet hosts numerous cultural festivities and offers diverse recreational opportunities to both locals and residents.

Toquaht Nation

The Toquaht are the “people of the narrow channel” or “people of the narrow place in front.”  The smallest of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nations (135 people), its seven traditional village sites cover 196 hectares, south of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere designated area. Macoah, the main community, is located west of Toquaht Bay on the North side of Barkley Sound.  In addition to forestry and fishing activities, the Toquaht Nation operates a campground and marina.