Bella Coola Valley's Nuxalk people
10,000 Years of Cultural History

Bella Coola Valley Info

The valley stretches for 60 kms and encompasses the settlements of Bella Coola proper, Lower Bella Coola, Hagensborg, Saloompt, Nusatsum, Firvale and Stuie.  The total population is 1900 people as recorded by the 2006 Canadian census.

The economy of Bella Coola consists mostly of tourism, forestry, public services (government/education/hospital), and retail. In addition there is some agriculture, including an active farmers' market, and a number of crafts people and artists.

The most striking thing about Bella Coola is the stunning beauty and pristine nature of the place. The Coast Range Mountains, the dry Chilcotin Plateau and the Pacific Fjords intersect creating a bio-diverse, wilderness with healthy populations of wild animals. Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and a number of smaller conservancies surround the valley.

The beauty of Bella Coola can be seen in the 2008 movie The Incredible Hulk. Bruce Banner, the main character, concludes the plot by escaping to Bella Coola, where he attempts to control his transformations. A significant amount of footage was shot in and near Bella Coola. Unfortunately only a short piece made it into the final film.

Regional Geography

The exposed granite of the Coast Mountains towers over the valley, inlets from the Pacific wind their way inland, and the Chilcotin Plateau rises to the east...

Culture of Bella Coola Valley, Nuxalk first nations

The Nuxalk First Nations people are the original inhabitants of the valley. According to oral history and archeological estimates, their presence dates back 10,000 years...

History of the Bella Coola Valley

European history in the valley is much shorter then the Nuxalk people’s. Although there had been some contact, the first settlers did not arrive until the 1890’s...

The low human population and the pristine nature of the valley are great for wildlife, including one of the highest concentrations of Grizzly Bears in British Columbia...

Sir Alexander Mackenzie

In the late 1700’s, while searching for the North West passage, Alexander MacKenzie completed the first documented crossing of North America north of Mexico...

Highway 20 - The Freedom Road

With only two bulldozers, supplies bought on credit and a work force that often had only the promise of being paid, completion of the "Freedom Road" up out of the valley ended Bella Coola’s isolation in 1953...