Meares Island

Coordinates: 49°10′N 125°50′W / 49.167°N 125.833°W / 49.167; -125.833
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Meares Island
Opitsaht, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.jpg
Aerial view of Opitsaht on Meares Island
Vancouver clayoquot sound de.png
Map of Clayoquot Sound showing the location of Meares Island
LocationClayoquot Sound
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Regional DistrictAlberni-Clayoquot
Largest CommunityOpitsaht

Meares Island is one of the many islands surrounding the Village of Tofino, British Columbia, Canada. Its name was given in 1862 by George Henry Richards, captain of HMS Hecate, in honor of John Meares.[1] The island is located in the Clayoquot Sound region and is the location of Opitsat, the main village of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations, and was the location of Fort Defiance, a short-lived American fur-trading post founded by Captain Robert Gray.

Meares Island is reachable by boat or water taxi.

Meares Island became historically significant shortly after 1984, when the Nuu-chah-nulth and environmentalist groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of Clayoquot Sound began protesting forestry giant MacMillan Bloedel's potential harvesting activities. The Nuu-chah-nulth, with significant cooperation from environmental groups, eventually erected a blockade, preventing MacMillan Bloedel from logging the island. Both sides pursued legal action, and the court ruled that since the Nuu-chah-nulth had claimed that this was part of their traditional territory, until that claim was resolved, no development could occur on the whole of Meares Island. This essentially granted an injunction in favour of the Nuu-chah-nulth, which was the first time in British Columbia's history that the province had been overruled on a land claims issue.[citation needed] According to Ecodefense, opponents of logging have spiked thousands of trees on Meares Island.[2]

Geographical features[edit]


  1. ^ Walbran, John T. (1909). British Columbia coast names, 1592–1906: to which are added a few names in adjacent United States territory, their origin and history. Ottawa Government Printing Bureau. pp. 332–334. OCLC 317633225. Archived from the original on 2012-03-07. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
  2. ^ Dave Foreman; Bill Haywood, eds. (1993). Ecodefense: a field guide to monkeywrenching (3rd ed.). Chico, CA: Abbzug Press. ISBN 0-9637751-0-3. OCLC 29216159.

External links[edit]

49°10′N 125°50′W / 49.167°N 125.833°W / 49.167; -125.833