Religious ceremony with Totems and the playing of frame drums, from an edition of 1897, illustration by Wilhelm Sievers
|Regions with significant populations|
|Bella Coola, British Columbia|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Nuxalk people|
The Nuxalk Nation is the band government of the Nuxalk people of Bella Coola, British Columbia. It is a member of the Oweekeno-Kitasoo-Nuxalk Tribal Council, and until March 2008 was a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. The population is 1,479.
"Nuxalk" is singular; "Nuxalkmc" is plural.
Q'umk'uts', a Nuxalk community that is located at the confluence of the Bella Coola River and the Pacific Ocean is currently home to the majority of the Nuxalk population, is located in the Bella Coola Valley, in British Columbia. It is on the Nation's primary reserve (which is much smaller than the Nation's traditional territory), adjacent to the Bella Coola "townsite", the Central business district for the Valley. Nuxalk Hall is a community center, where potlatches and social events are held. The Nuxalk Basketball Association hosts games in the hall.
The Nuxalkmc were wrongfully categorized as "Coast Salish". Today the Nuxalkmc are classified under their own distinct category.
The Nuxalk Nation traditionally has spoken the Nuxalk language. Today there are an estimated 40 fluent speakers, 80 conversational speakers, and 140 learning speakers. Recent (from 2014) work has included the creation of Nuxalk-language radio programming, work towards an expanded Nuxalk-English dictionary and a new online phrasebook.
Located at the mouth of the Bella Coola River, the nation was only accessible by foot, air, or boat until 1953, when a road was constructed. Nuxalk people have lived in the region for millennia. Norwegian people settled in the area in the 1890s.
The Nuxalk apply a poultice of pounded roots of Ranunculus acris to boils. They take a decoction of leaves Antennaria howellii for body pain, but not pain in the limbs. A full list of their ethnobotany can be found at http://naeb.brit.org/uses/tribes/21/ (387 documented plant uses).
- "Nuxalk Nation." First Peoples' Language Map of British Columbia. Retrieved 11 Aug 2013.
- Smith, Harlan I. 1929 Materia Medica of the Bella Coola and Neighboring Tribes of British Columbia. National Museum of Canada Bulletin 56:47-68 (p. 57)
- Smith, Harlan I., 1929, Materia Medica of the Bella Coola and Neighboring Tribes of British Columbia, National Museum of Canada Bulletin 56:47-68, page 65
It is estimated the population of the Nuxalkmc people were in the thousands amongst different villages. Stories suggest there were approximately ten thousand to thirty thousand spanning the whole Bella Coola Valley and surrounding inlets.