Knowledge Gathering Workshop

Huu-ay-aht is currently undertaking community research to understand the significance of the Old Village Site, Kiix̣in, historically and in the present context as perceived by the community, to develop a collective vision for the future growth potential of Kiix̣in and its surrounding areas. This project is funded by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council’s (FPCC), Sense of Place Grant. 

We would like to hear from the community and understand the significance of the Village Site in the present context and the cultural relationships of Huu-ay-aht people to the Village Site. This will be explored in the first half of the session. The second half of the session will examine the potential for the Kiix̣in Village Site and the neighbouring areas for future growth and examine what that growth looks like. 

The engagement Workshop will be held in person in Bamfield. This will be a limited-person engagement seeking 3 Elders, 3 Youths and 3 Adults to include diverse voices and varied perspectives. Enrollment in the Workshop will be required to secure a spot. Honorariums will be provided to the Workshop participants for their valuable time and feedback. 

Details about the Workshop are mentioned below.

When – Thursday, May 11, 2023, from 9 am to 12 pm (Lunch will be provided).

Where – Bamfield B.C., The Market

Please call 250-723-0100 Ext 106 or email to secure your spot for the Knowledge Gathering Workshop for the Sense of Place Grant Project. 

We thank you for your time and support!

Negotiation team continues to update Huu-ay-aht leadership

Ḥaw̓iiḥ and Executive Council gathered at the House of Huu-ay-aht in Anacla July 20, 21 for an update on negotiations with Steelhead LNG.

The Nation is open to exploring economic development opportunities that align with its goals and principals and continue to work toward developing a process that creates mutually beneficial working relationships. Huu-ay-aht appreciates the citizens who also came out to learn about the negotiations.

While the meetings were not open to the public and citizens, we look forward to seeing everyone again at our next Community Engagement Sessions, which will be held in September. These upcoming engagement sessions will provide an opportunity for open and transparent dialogue between our citizens and government about what we are doing. Ask and we will answer.

PLEASE REMEMBER: If you have questions at any time, you can ask us and the government will respond. Send your comments or questions to or call 250-723-0100.

Investment in Bamfield by Huu-ay-aht appreciated by residents

In late January, the Nation purchased 11 properties in the Bamfield area. It took a lot of hard work to close the sale and even more to get the turnkey operations open and ready to accept visitors.

On April 23, 2016, Huu-ay-aht First Nations invited its citizens, dignitaries, and residents of Bamfield to join them in a celebration to mark this accomplishment.

The event exceeded all expectations, filling the Rix Centre for Ocean Discoveries for the luncheon and a large crowd gathered at The Hotel for singing, dancing, and a ribbon cutting. It was a chance for Huu-ay-aht to thank everyone involved in making it happen and welcome the community. It was also an opportunity for people in attendance to hear Huu-ay-aht’s vision for the future.

Following this successful event, Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Derek Peters) and Elected Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. received the following letter and a photo collage from the day. He wanted to share it with the community.

The letter follows:


I have been meaning to congratulate you both on your ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 23.

Bamfield needed a fresh start and you have been doing a wonderful job of being that catalyst and including the whole community in your plans.

Growing up in Bamfield in the 1950s and early 60s, I have watched the gradual decline of our community – first with the commercial fishing demise and then the stagnation of so much of the commercial property.

I feel a hope for Bamfield again, which I have not had for some time. 

Best regards and the best of luck on your venture,

Marc Phillips



Cynthia Rayner named Economic Development Officer for Huu-ay-aht

One of the new focus points in Huu-ay-aht’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan is Economic Development. The Executive Council is pleased to officially announce that Cynthia Rayner will lead this department for the Nation.

Cynthia started with the Nation in May, taking over the vacant Economic Development Officer position. In this position, she will focus on exploring ways that Huu-ay-aht can move forward in the future with economic opportunities and managing the economic development activities for the Nation. She will work closely with the Economic Development Committee and its chair to identify and investigate opportunities. She will also work closely with the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses in updating and moving forward on the Nations’ business plan.

Huu-ay-aht’s Executive Director Crystal Clappis says Cynthia’s wealth of knowledge, experience, and education will be of high value and will help the Nation achieve a prosperous economy.

“Cynthia is a great addition to the team,” Crystal says. “Her experience will benefit the Nation with its focus on economic opportunities, and I’m looking forward to seeing great progress under her leadership in the economic development department.”

Cynthia received her Bachelor of Arts in business, majoring in marketing and management. She also has 20 years of experience working with rural, remote, and urban First Nations, including 11 years in senior managerial positions. She is starting her Masters in Business in the fall of 2016.

Cynthia worked for Xaxli’p First Nations in Lillooet as an Economic Development Officer. While in that position, in six months she raised more than $300,000 in funding for Xaxli’p business ventures, including a store, commercial garden, fiberglass operation, and campsite. She also helped the Nation attain important financial and tax laws through the First Nations Financial Management Board. In addition to her work with the Xaxli’p, Cynthia previously worked as an Administrator for Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation. This role included managing the Nations’ economic development, including a five-year economic development plan; managing the nations’ finances and organizational development; and overseeing human resources.

Previously Cynthia also worked for a wide variety of clients, including H’ulh-etun Health Society, the Chief Dan George Centre for Advanced Education, Chemainus First Nations, BC Hydro, and the First Nations Health Authority. Her roles included Executive Director, Executive Health Director, Education Manager, Job Placement Officer, and Business Planning Consultant.

“This is an exciting opportunity to build a strong future for Huu-ay-aht,” Cynthia explains. “This is an important time for the Nation, and I look forward to making a difference for future generations.”

Cynthia originates from the Nuu-chah-nulth, Kwakiutl, and Gitxsan First Nations, and traces her Huu-ay-aht ancestry through her father’s side. Her Huu-ay-aht ancestral name is Hacum Tuhuaqsup, which means “queen by the waterfalls.”

Her mother, Dolly McRae, is a hereditary Chief from the Fireweed clan in the Gitxsan Nation. Cynthia is also a hereditary Chief from the Fireweed clan. Her Gitxsan Chief’s ancestral name is Nu’joulst, which means “mother of a high chief.” Her Kwakiutl ancestral name is Poot’lus, which means “you never leave my house hungry.”

Cynthia is also the owner and principal consultant at First Nations Management Consulting and has completed feasibility studies, business plan, and marketing plans for First Nations in BC.

Please join the Executive Council in welcoming Cynthia to the Huu-ay-aht team.

Listen to your Elders about “The Heart of the People”!

This is the first part of the documentary “The Heart of the People”.  A unique opportunity to listen to Elders who are no longer with us, but speak about the Sarita River from the bottom of their tiičma (heart):

  • Willie Sport – cultural historian, fisher and trapper.
  • Lizzie Happynook – weaver whose pieces are exhibited at the Alberni Valley Museum.
  • Peter Joe – boat builder and former resident of the area.
  • Annie Clappis – member of the Huu-ay-aht Community Language Speakers.

You can also understand the history around the Specific Claims Tribunal of the Huu-ay-aht
First Nations regarding the value of the compensation Canada owes the Nation as a result of the way timber on former Numukamis IR1 was sold to MacMillan Bloedel in the 1940s. Forester Consultant Herb Hammond talks about how, in his opinion, the hemlock looper was used at that time as an excuse to log indiscriminately.