Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada

First Nations Cultural Experiences

Long Beach Unit | Broken Group Islands Unit | West Coast Trail Unit

Today, the awe-inspiring coastal landscapes of the Pacific Rim region remain integral to the livelihood and heritage of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and First Nation partners are working together to continue the age-long practice of welcoming and sharing Nuu-chah-nulth history, traditions, and culture with visitors.


Long Beach Unit

A Parks Canada interpreter standing next to a post on the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Interpreter giving a guided tour of the
Nuu-chah-nulth Trail

©Parks Canada

The sandy beaches and the lush rain forests of the Long Beach Unit are part of the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ

Highlights
  • Kisitis Visitor Centre:
    Be enchanted by the ancient legends and the living culture of the Nuu-chah-nulth people at the Kisitis Visitor Centre. See the carved post marking the traditional territory of Kisitis, enjoy stories told by Nuu-chah-nulth elders, and experience our interactive displays. You can see local creations of Nuu-chah-nulth artisans at the Quisitis Gift Shop, run by the Ucluth Economic Development Corporation.
  • Nuu-chah-nulth Trail:
    Peek into the Nuu-chah-nulth people’s world as you venture along the Nuu-chah-nulth trail. Take a self-guided interpretive walk along the trail and learn about the lands and seas so essential to this people’s survival. Marvel at the unique hand-carved totem pole depicting the land (Bear with Salmon), sea (Killer Whale), and sky (Thunderbird) of this beautiful area.
  • First Nation Guest Speakers:
    Be transported on a Nuu-chah-nulth journey through the past and into the present and future. Please check at park visitor centres for upcoming guest speaker events.  
  • National Aboriginal Day:
    What better way to appreciate a culture than with soul-enriching music and food! Enjoy National Aboriginal Day Celebrations in local communities with local First Nations every year on June 21 with salmon BBQs, singing and dancing.


Broken Group Islands Unit

Benson Island Post
The Benson Island House Post standing tall at C’isaa: Birthplace of the
Tseshaht First Nation

©Parks Canada

The Broken Group Islands are made up of over 100 islands, islets and scattered rocky outcrops, surrounding the Reserves and traditional territories of the Tseshaht First Nation and Hupacasath First Nation. Toquaht Nation and Uchucklesaht Tribe also have treaty rights within the park.

Benson Island, also known as C’isaa: the birthplace of the Tseshaht First Nation, is unique in the Broken Group Islands. Parks Canada archaeologists and the Tseshaht believe the site has been occupied for at least 5,000 years. This ancient village was once a year-round home to over 8,500 Tseshaht and was considered the cultural centre of the territory.

Highlights
  • Benson Island:
    Let the Tseshaht house post honouring the island’s history welcome you on your self-guided tour of Benson Island. The post, carved by local Tseshaht artist, Gordon Dick, stands tall next to two interpretive panels that offer a glimpse into the Tseshaht First Nation.
  • Meet a Beach Keeper:
    The Broken Group Islands are rich in human, natural, and cultural history as well as resources. Parks Canada works closely with the Tseshaht First Nation to care for this place and share its significance with visitors. Beach Keepers, who welcome visitors and provide advice and safety information, continue a legacy borne out of ancient protocol.


West Coast Trail Unit

Three West Coast Trail Guardians in front of a fallen tree
West Coast Trail Guardians clearing Winter Storm damage on the West
Coast Trail

©Parks Canada

The world-renowned West Coast Trail lies within the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations. In partnership with Parks Canada, these First Nations are guardians of this iconic trail, restoring, protecting, and presenting it to hikers from the world over. 

Highlights
  • First Nation Guardians of the West Coast Trail:
    As the traditional guardians of the lands and waters, Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht Guardians work with Parks Canada to care for the trails and protect the land and visiting hikers. An encounter with a West Coast Trail Guardian might include a story told by the fire, a song, or a simple exchange between hikers and Guardians that will create a memory to last a lifetime.