We are the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Kwak´wala-speaking people, made up of 18 tribes whose territory reaches from what is now northern Vancouver Island southeast to the middle of the island, and to smaller islands and inlets such as Johnstone Strait.
Deeply connected to and physically and spiritually sustained by the animals, trees, and waters of this region, our rich culture has survived millennia and we are proud to introduce guests to our homeland and our communities.
Led by Sea Wolf Adventures’ owner Mike Willie, a proud member of the Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis people, our team of Indigenous expert guides introduce visitors to areas that we have called home for millennia. Alert Bay was one of several traditional Kwakwaka’wakw villages where our people were resettled and schooled by the government. Breaking free from the iron hand that came down on us in the form of residential schools and a Potlatch ban, each of our guides play an important role in keeping our culture alive today. “Potlatch is a way to carry out traditional governance for the people. A way to look after the old people,” explains Mike Willie. “Potlatch is a way to maintain intertribal connections, by dancing your masks, stories, and songs in front of other tribes to record our history. A way to carry forward teachings for the future generations.”
All our guides are culturally trained and very active in the Potlatches today; we are ceremonial leaders and take great pride in being able to teach and pass on the knowledge of our ancestors. We are active in exercising our traditional laws that protect our lands and waters for our future generations and we are honoured to share our beautiful home with visitors from around the globe.
Our Grizzly Bears of the Wild Tour, if time permits and guests want to, could feature a visit to the U’mista Museum in Alert Bay, which is home to recovered cultural artifacts, and all our wildlife watching tours include cultural elements that explore our deep connection to our land.