Tsatsisnukwomi, Harbledown ISland
Find us – how to get here
In general Harbledown Island is only accessible by boat or water taxi. Common departure points from Vancouver Island are: Port McNeill, Alder Bay, and Port Hardy. One could also depart by boat from surrounding areas such as Telegraph Cove and Alert Bay.
Travel is about 45 minutes south-east of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. If you are unfamiliar with the area contact us for advice or contact one of the local water taxi services.
If you are planning to travel out to see us, please note the grey box above for the recent MARINE WEATHER FORECAST. The weather and waters may present challenges for travel by boat.
Recent History of Tsatsisnukwomi aka New Vancouver
Tsatsisnukwomi Village, home of the Da’naxda’xw/Awaetlala First Nation. This is only one of 6 “reserves” belonging to our people. Our traditional Territory is located in Knight Inlet on the central BC Coast. Tsatsisnukwomi is located on Harbledown Island, approximately 15 km southeast of Alert Bay, off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. It is on the boundary of the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park.
Our people did not originally call this village “home”, this village belonged to the Mamalillikulla First Nation, and they gave it as a “dowry” to our Nation for the marriage of one of their well-respected ladies to one of our men. We relocated down to this village in the early 1900s. We lived quite happily there until the mid 1960s, when, due to various reasons, we decided that we could no longer live in this isolated place. Schooling and Health matters forced us to relocate to more urban areas, where schools and medical services were more accessible.
After many years William Glendale, decided that we needed to get back home. He, along with his family and a few friends worked very hard to get the village back to be habitable. In 2004, , with federal grants, builder Don Willie, and helpers, completed a traditional Bighouse, and held a Bighouse opening that year, where more than 300 people attended the two-day event. The cleared field was filled with tents as people who came to witness the event camped out as there were not even houses built at that time, but people still came. To say that this was an extraordinary event for our little village would be an understatement. We have not had a “Bighouse” in our village for more than 50 years, the Administrator at the time William (Bill) Wasden applied for grants and made sure we had a Bighouse, for our members to come home to. So we could to get to know our culture and to see who we are, and where we come from, to be proud of being a Da’naxda’xw/Awaetlala citizen.
Today if you come to the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park area, stop by our village, say hello to our community members. You will feel the spirituality that surrounds the village, and you will see the pride in the community.
Gilakas’la (Thank you)