Experience the west coast wildlife with k’awat’si Tours, featured in the Northern Island Experience travel package. Book your trip to explore the northern tip of Vancouver Island and immerse yourself in the culture of the Indigenous peoples of this region.
Greet the cheery faces of your First Nations guides as you head down to the dock for an ocean wilderness excursion. When you’re on the water, travelling alongside coastal rainforests, keep an eye out for sea smoke, or whale spray, in the distance. Watch the flickering tails of humpbacks as they dive deep and disappear. And keep your eyes peeled for sea otters, which sometimes raft together on their backs in groups as big as twenty.
Welcome to k’awat’si Tours, one of three Port Hardy tourism operations (which also include Pier Side Landing hotel and the Kwa’lilas Hotel) owned by the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw through the K'awat'si Economic Development Corporation (KEDC). Aside from ocean-inspired wilderness tours, visitors can also take cedar weaving, drum-making or fly over traditional territories on sea planes. As well, guests can travel by water to the Nakwakto Rapids which are the “fastest navigable tidal rapids on the planet.” They can also sit with elders and listen to the "beautiful stories of our ancestors and rediscover their connection to the natural world.”
“We’ve been developing different packages with the elders leading the way. They had to say 'yes, we can share that part of our history, or this part of our culture. And no, we aren’t going to share that,'” says tour company spokesperson Davis Henderson. “Everything is linked to our history, but also with a connection to the communities around us. Our elders, who went through relocation, residential schools and banned potlatching, share this history with our guests. It’s not a ‘poor us’ scenario, it’s a 'this is why we are who we are today, and now, we’re stepping forward.’"