Parks Canada and Huu-ay-aht honour Kiix̣in as a National Historic Site

Caption: Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. and Parks Canada President and CEO Ron Hallman unveil the commemorative plaque on a beautifully carved cedar frame at Kiix̣in Village and Fortress National Historic Site at Anacla, British Columbia on September 20, 2022.
Credit: Parks Canada

September 20, 2022 – Anacla, British Columbia – Parks Canada Agency

Today, Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Parks Canada celebrated the installation of a plaque at Huu-ay‑aht First Nations’ Kiix̣in Village and Fortress (Kiix̣in) to officially commemorate the designation of Kiix̣in as a National Historic Site of Canada.

Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Kiix̣in is the site of a 19th-century village and fortress that exhibits evidence of continuous occupation of the area for almost 3,000 years, dating back to 1000 BCE. It is also the only known traditional First Nation’s village of more than 100 villages on the southern British Columbia coast that still features significant, standing traditional architecture. The site’s natural features made it an ideal location for occupation and defense. It is characteristic of Nuu-chah-nulth defensive sites and warfare patterns, resource extraction and commercial practices, and illustrates changing Nuu-chah-nulth political and economic patterns in the 18th and 19th centuries. To this day, it remains a sacred site to Huu-ay-aht First Nations people.

In 1999, the Government of Canada designated Kiix̣in as a national historic site, with the official recognition referring to four distinct archaeological sites, which include the main village and fortress and two related archaeological sites. In 2002, a commemorative plaque was presented to Huu-ay-aht First Nations by Parks Canada, and today, both parties came together to reveal the plaque which has now been installed on a beautifully carved cedar frame at the Kiix̣in Village and Fortress for visitors and locals to enjoy.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations has three Sacred Principles: ʔiisaak (Greater Respect), Hišuk ma c̓awak (Everything is One), and ʔuuʔałuk (Taking Care Of). Since declaring Kiix̣in a national historic site in 1999, these sacred principles, as they pertain to the land, Huu-ay-aht’s Ḥahuułi (traditional territory), have been upheld, protected and valued, and efforts will be made to continue honouring these principles for years to come.

Huu-ay-aht First Nations offers guided tours of Kiix̣in, with traditional knowledge holders, to enrich and teach all who are interested in learning about the history, culture, and traditions of the first peoples of this land. Tours take place between May and September. More information about Kiix̣in and the tours can be found at


“Today, Parks Canada is honoured to join with Huu-ay-aht First Nations in commemorating Kiix̣in Fortress National Historic Site. National historic designations are the most significant form of historical recognition that is bestowed by the Government of Canada. Parks Canada has enjoyed a positive relationship with the Huu-ay-aht and this designation would not be possible, nor as meaningful, without this Nation’s commitment to preserving and sharing its knowledge and history.”

Ron Hallman,

Parks Canada President and CEO

This official installation of the plaque signifies the importance of Kiix̣in and the rich history it tells. Kiix̣in is the main attraction of Huu-ay-aht’s cultural tourism as it offers a truly unique cultural experience for guests who come and visit Huu-ay-aht’s Ḥahuułi (traditional territory). Now, when visitors come to Kiix̣in, they will hear our stories, see our culture and understand the great Canadian national historical site designation it holds.”

Robert J. Dennis Sr.

Chief Councillor, Huu-ay-aht First Nations

For full press release, please click here

C̕awak ʔqin Forestry Celebrates Commitment to a New Way of Working Together in Forestry

Port Alberni, B.C. – August 2, 2022  – The path forward for C̕awak ʔqin Forestry is now set, with the unveiling today of a new logo and brand that symbolizes the shared vision and values between Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Huu-ay-aht) and Western Forest Products Inc. (Western) in Tree Farm Licence 44 (TFL 44) on Vancouver Island.

C̕awak ʔqin (pronounced sa-wa-kin) Forestry, which means ‘we are one’ in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, shared the new logo and brand as part of an official operations sign unveiling event at its Franklin River Road office near Port Alberni. The logo was designed by Huu-ay-aht father and son artists, Ed Johnson Sr. and Edward R. Johnson, who is also a Huu-ay-aht Councillor. The logo depicts a bear with its four claws digging into two fish and a growing tree in the centre of the design.

“The salmon is the giver of life and the eagle gave the bear his claws so he could catch the fish that he was coaxing up into the woods,” explained Ed Johnson Sr. “The fish carcasses feed the plants and the trees to help them grow.”

“The design speaks to nature’s lifecycle with all the animals working together to protect, nourish and sustain our lands,” said Edward R. Johnson. “It also reflects the company’s vision as a world leading, Indigenous values-driven company, where our collective decisions benefit the waters, people, fisheries, wildlife and lands today and for future generations.”

“Since time immemorial, storytelling has held an important role in the history, culture and learnings of Huu-ay-aht. It reaffirms what we believe in, what we stand for and passes on the teachings from one generation to the next,” said Robert J. Dennis Sr., Huu-ay-aht Chief Councillor, who was instrumental in the creation of the ground-breaking partnership with Western. “Branding is no different; it’s a modern word for the communication of who we are: we are C̕awak ʔqin, we are one, and the new signage tells all visitors to the TFL that the partners and workers are united in their commitment to manage these forests sustainably according to our Nations’ sacred principles.”

Last October, Huu-ay-aht and Western announced that TFL 44 Limited Partnership had changed its name to C̕awak ʔqin Forestry (also known by its anglicized legal name of Tsawak-qin Forestry Limited Partnership). Since then, feedback was gathered from Huu-ay-aht and Western employees, community leaders, government officials, contractors and suppliers to create the company’s vision, values, branding and design.

“It was clear from these conversations that we all share a common goal: to create a strong and sustainable business where everyone and everything benefits, and where the future is secure,” said Shannon Janzen, RPF, Board Chair for C̕awak ʔqin Forestry and Vice President, Partnerships and Chief Forester of Western. “There was complete alignment that we can only accomplish this by acting as one: C̕awak ʔqin. It is heartening to see the name change in this symbolic sign and sharing the understanding of what this means.”

“This isn’t just a brand; it is a commitment we make to our partners, our employees, the Nation’s citizens and the community at large. It’s about how we show up and what we stand for and a commitment to move forward when everyone is informed and involved,” added Doug Meske, RPF, Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships, who also oversees the C̕awak ʔqin Forestry operations.

Over the coming days and weeks, the new brand signage will go up across forestry operations in the TFL. To commemorate the launch of the new logo and brand, C̕awak ʔqin has also launched a new brand video.

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For media inquiries, contact:  

Amanda Munro, C̕awak ʔqin Forestry, 604-360-3994

About C̕awak ʔqin Forestry

C̕awak ʔqin Forestry (Tsawak-qin Forestry Limited Partnership) operates TFL 44 and is a limited partnership between Huumiis Ventures Limited Partnership (wholly owned by Huu-ay-aht First Nations) and Western Forest Products Inc. TFL 44 covers roughly 137,000 hectares of land on west central Vancouver Island in the vicinity of Alberni Inlet and Great Central Lake. More information about the Company’s ground-breaking initiatives can be found here.

View official press release here: C̕awak ʔqin News Release