We are the Nuxalk Nation, located in and around what is known to some as Bella Coola, British Columbia, Canada. We have been occupying and exercising our rights on the lands, water and resources of our ancestral territory since time immemorial. The Nuxalk Nation is a mixture of many villages that were distributed throughout kulhulmcilh (our land), including the four largest villages: Talyu in Ats’aaxlh (South Bentick); Suts’lhm (Kimsquit) to the north -this includes Satskw’ (Kimsquit River) and Nutl’l (Dean River); Kwalhna to the west; and Q’umk’uts‘ to the east.
Before European contact, the Nuxalk population was approximately 35,000 (based on oral histories and academic research). After the small pox epidemic of 1862-64 (following waves of new gold seekers and settlers), Nuxalk villages were devastated to approximately 300 survivors. Nuxalk people were scattered throughout the territory and either relocated on their own to survive, or were forcibly removed by the Department of Indian Affairs, to form a settlement in what is now known as Bella Coola.
Current Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) population estimates indicate a total Nuxalk population of approximately 1400 with nearly 900 of those living on the Nuxalk reserve in Bella Coola. However, according to