Heiltsuk dialect

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Bella Bella
Region Northern Central Coast Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
Ethnicity Heiltsuk people
Native speakers
60  (2014, FPCC)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog bell1263[2]

Heiltsuk /ˈhltsək/,[3] also known as Bella Bella and Haihais, is a dialect of the North Wakashan (Kwakiutlan) language Heiltsuk-Oowekyala that is spoken by the Haihai (Xai'xais) and Bella Bella First Nations peoples of the Central Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, around the communities of Bella Bella and Klemtu, British Columbia. Bella Bella is the headquarters of the Heiltsuk Nation government.

Heiltsuk is considered to be a subdialect of Heiltsuk-Oowekyala, which like neighbouring Haisla and Kwak'wala are part of the Northern Wakashan language group.


  1. ^ Heiltsuk at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Heiltsuk". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ William C. Sturtevant, 1978. Handbook of North American Indians: Northwest Coast

External links[edit]


  • Boas, Franz. (1928). Bella Bella texts. Columbia University contributions to anthropology (No. 5).
  • Boas, Franz. (1932). Bella Bella tales. Memoirs of the American Folklore Society (No. 25).
  • Howe, Darin M. (2000). Oowekyala segmental phonology. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Ottawa).
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Poser, William J. (2003). The status of documentation for British Columbia native languages. Yinka Dene Language Institute Technical Report (No. 2). Vanderhoof, British Columbia: Yinka Dene Language Institute.
  • Rath, John C. (1981). A practical Heiltsuk-English dictionary with a grammatical introduction. Mercury Series paper, Canadian Ethnology Service, (No. 75). Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.
  • Windsor, Evelyn W. (1982). Oowekeeno oral traditions as told by the late chief Simon Walkus, Sr. Hilton, S.; & Rath, J. (Eds.). Mercury series (No. 84). Ottawa: National Museum of Man.