Parks Canada and Huu-ay-aht First Nations gather to officially reveal a plaque honouring Kiix̣in Village and Fortress National Historic Site

News release

September 20, 2022             Anacla, British Columbia          Parks Canada Agency

Today, Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Parks Canada celebrated the installation of a plaque at

Huu-ay‑aht First Nations’ Kiix̣in Village and Fortress (Kiix̣in) to officially commemorate the designation of Kiix̣in as a National Historic Site of Canada.

Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Kiix̣in is the site of a 19th-century village and fortress that exhibits evidence of continuous occupation of the area for almost 3,000 years, dating back to 1000 BCE. It is also the only known traditional First Nation’s village of more than 100 villages on the southern British Columbia coast that still features significant, standing traditional architecture. The site’s natural features made it an ideal location for occupation and defense. It is characteristic of Nuu-chah-nulth defensive sites and warfare patterns, resource extraction and commercial practices, and illustrates changing Nuu-chah-nulth political and economic patterns in the 18th and 19th centuries. To this day, it remains a sacred site to Huu-ay-aht First Nations people.

In 1999, the Government of Canada designated Kiix̣in as a national historic site, with the official recognition referring to four distinct archaeological sites, which include the main village and fortress and two related archaeological sites. In 2002, a commemorative plaque was presented to Huu-ay-aht First Nations by Parks Canada, and today, both parties came together to reveal the plaque which has now been installed on a beautifully carved cedar frame at the Kiix̣in Village and Fortress for visitors and locals to enjoy.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations has three Sacred Principles: ʔiisaak (Greater Respect), Hišuk ma c̓awak (Everything is One), and ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care Of). Since declaring Kiix̣in a national historic site in 1999, these sacred principles, as they pertain to the land, Huu-ay-aht’s Ḥahuułi (traditional territory), have been upheld, protected and valued, and efforts will be made to continue honouring these principles for years to come.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations offers guided tours of Kiix̣in, with traditional knowledge holders, to enrich and teach all who are interested in learning about the history, culture, and traditions of the first peoples of this land. Tours take place between May and September. More information about Kiix̣in and the tours can be found at kiixin.ca.

                                                                                                                       -30-

Additional multimedia

Caption: On September 20, 2022, Timothy Christian, Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr., Parks Canada President and CEO Ron Hallman and Karen Haugen, Superintendent of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve unveil the commemorative plaque on a beautifully carved cedar frame at Kiix̣in Village and Fortress National Historic Site at Anacla, British Columbia. Credit: Parks Canada
Caption: Archway: The standing traditional archway is the remains from ʔApwinisatḥʔ house at Kiix̣in Village. Credit: Glen Friesen

Quotes

“Today, Parks Canada is honoured to join with Huu-ay-aht First Nations in commemorating Kiix̣in Fortress National Historic Site. National historic designations are the most significant form of historical recognition that is bestowed by the Government of Canada. Parks Canada has enjoyed a positive relationship with the Huu-ay-aht and this designation would not be possible, nor as meaningful, without this Nation’s commitment to preserving and sharing its knowledge and history.”

Ron Hallman,
Parks Canada President and CEO

This official installation of the plaque signifies the importance of Kiix̣in and the rich history it tells. Kiix̣in is the main attraction of Huu-ay-aht’s cultural tourism as it offers a truly unique cultural experience for guests who come and visit Huu-ay-aht’s Ḥahuułi (traditional territory). Now, when visitors come to Kiix̣in, they will hear our stories, see our culture and understand the great Canadian national historical site designation it holds.”

Robert J. Dennis Sr.
Chief Councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognizes significant people, places, and events that shaped our country as one way of helping Canadians connect with their past. 

  • Huu-ay-aht First Nations is an indigenous community located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It is a part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation, formerly called the Nootka. Huu-ay-aht is a party to the Maa-nulth Final Agreement, a modern treaty that grants its five member-nations constitutionally protected self-government as well as ownership, control, and law-making authority over their lands and re-sources. For more information, visit huuayaht.org.

  • Kiixin is managed by Huu-ay-aht First Nations. Huu-ay-aht First Nations is a self-governing First Nation and signatory to the Maa-Nulth First Nations Final Agreement. The Traditional Territory and Treaty Settlement Land is situated in Barclay Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, at the entrance to Alberni Inlet. The Nation is committed to balancing the objectives of strong and diverse economic growth with environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

  • Parks Canada works together with Huu-ay-aht First Nations on a cooperative management board to operate Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. While Kiix̣in is outside of the national park reserve boundary, historic designations, such as the one for Kiix̣in, occur under Parks Canada’s National Program of Historical Commemoration and present and commemorate all aspects of Canada’s history.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

  • National historic sites represent thousands of years of human history. These are places of profound importance to Canada as they bear witness to our country's defining moments and illustrate its human creativity and cultural traditions. Each national historic site tells its own unique story, part of the greater story of Canada, contributing a sense of time, identity, and place to our understanding of Canada as a whole.

  • Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on the national historic importance of the sites, people and events that have marked Canada's history.

  • The designation process under Parks Canada’s National Program of Historical Commemoration is largely driven by public nominations. To nominate a person, place or historical event in your community, please visit the Parks Canada website for more information: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/culture/clmhc-hsmbc/ncp-pcn/application.

Related products

Associated links

Contacts

Amanda-Lee Cunningham 
Communications Manager
Huu-ay-aht First Nations
250-720-7776
amanda.c@huuayaht.org

Media Relations
Parks Canada Agency
855-862-1812
pc.media@pc.gc.ca

Nancy Hildebrand
Public Relations and Communications Officer, Coastal B.C. Field Unit
Parks Canada
604-961-6787
Nancy.Hildebrand@pc.gc.ca

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: