Heiltsuk is a northern Wakashan language spoken in the Central Coast region of British Columbia in Canada. It is spoken by the Haihai (Xai'xais) and Bella Bella First Nations peoples in the villages of Bella Bella, on Campbell Island, and Klemtu, on Swindle Island. In 2014 there were 60 native speakers of Heiltsuk, according to the First Peoples' Cultural Council.
According to some sources Heiltsuk is classified as a dialect of Heiltsuk-Oowekyala. Others classify it as a separate language. It is also known as Haíɫzaqv, Hailhzaqvla, Bella Bella or Haihais
Heiltsuk legend talks of a piece of land that never froze during ice ages and where their ancestors went to survice. Archaeologists have found the remains of a village on Triquet Island in the Central Coast region of British Columbia that are about 14,000 years old, when most of Canada was covered in ice [source].
An acute accent (á) is used to indicate a high tone.
Information about Heiltsuk
Heiltsuk First Nation website
Page last modified: 09.10.23
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