Bella Bella, British Columbia
Bella Bella from the water
|Area code(s)||250, 778|
Bella Bella, also known as Waglisla, is an unincorporated community and Indian Reserve community located within Bella Bella Indian Reserve No. 1 on the east coast of Campbell Island in the Central Coast region of British Columbia, Canada. Bella Bella is located 98 nautical miles (181 km) north of Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island, and 78 nautical miles (144 km) west of Bella Coola. Originally styled New Bella Bella to distinguish it from Old Bella Bella, which was on Denny Island, the community's official post office name for some time was Waglisla, meaning "river on the beach" in the Heiltsuk language. The Hudson's Bay Company's Fort McLoughlin was near the same location, which is on McLoughlin Bay.
With a population of 1,400, Bella Bella is the largest community to be found on the Central Coast north of Queen Charlotte Strait. It is home to the Heiltsuk First Nation. Like many small communities on the coast, such as nearby Ocean Falls, Bella Bella has had a precarious and isolated existence. The closing of coastal cannery towns and decreased need for coastal shipping reduced the importance of Bella Bella's port.
However, the resumption of ferry services by BC Ferries and the introduction of an air link from Vancouver via Port Hardy by Pacific Coastal Airlines have revived Bella Bella. There are scheduled flights from Bella Bella (Campbell Island) Airport onward to Klemtu and Ocean Falls. Services in Bella Bella include a large general store, the Bella Bella Community School, Alexa's restaurant, the Koeye Cafe, the Thistalalh Memorial Library, an RCMP police station (with a circuit court every 1.5 months), the Bella Bella Medical Clinic, staffed by 3 physicians and a Nurse Practitioner, and R.W. Large Memorial Hospital and its pharmacy. The CIBC bank branch closed in 2007. The village of Bella Bella was previously known as Waglisla to the Canadian Postal Service; the postal address changed to Bella Bella (V0T 1Z0) in October 2007.
The 13-million-year-old mafic dike swarms in the Bella Bella area were formed by the Anahim hotspot when this part of North America was directly overhead. The dikes are believed to mark the first arrival of the hotspot, although it is now located in central British Columbia at Nazko Cone.
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