Bella Bella

British Columbia

Bella Bella, is the home of the Heiltsuk Nation and located on the east coast of Campbell Island in the Central Coastal region of British Columbia, Canada. Bella Bella is located 181 km north of Port Hardy and 144 km west of Bella Coola.

Bella Bella originates from a haitzaqv [a.k.a. Heiltsuk] place name that was converted to an Anglo-Canadian place name; this was done by the British Crown representative charged with giving place names for places in British Columbia.

Waglisla was the name of the postal outlet in Bella Bella, it's been renamed Bella Bella after the village name; it was never the alternative place name for Bella Bella. Waglisla is a haitzaqv (Heiltsuk) place name for a former creek that the former postal outlet was situated on; Waglisla was a descriptive place name of how the creek appeared to behave when it hit the beach i.e., it fanned out and sank into the beach. Most place names were of the descriptive type.

With a population of 1,400, Bella Bella is the largest community to be found on the Central Coast north of Queen Charlotte Strait and the Heilstuk are strong, outspoken leaders.

The 2015 herring season saw a crisis erupt over a long-simmering dispute between the Heiltsuk and The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Citing concern for the stocks and Heiltsuk rights, the Heiltsuk occupied the local DFO office for 4 days, and on Oct 28, 2015 they made a Declaration of Title & Rights.


In November 2016 it was announced that all efforts to appeal to the Federal Government to stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project was successful. The Heiltsuk personally presented at these hearings. The Heiltsuk continue the work to protect their lands, waters and all the inhabitants.


Heiltsuk Nation History

Heiltsuk Nation







Alexa Gladstone-Brown & Astrid Wilson creators of The Next Generation won the Runner up Best Documentary

Bella Bella Films