Published on October 4, 2010 by John
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Bella Coola Indian
The Nuxalk Nation (Nuxalk: Nuxálk; pronounced [nuxálk], with the ‘x’ like German ach), also referred to as the Bella Coola or Bellacoola, are an Indigenous First Nation in Canada, living in the area in and around Bella Coola, British Columbia. Their language is also called Nuxalk.
The name Bella Coola, often used in academic writing, is not preferred by the Nuxálk; it is thought to be either a derivation of the neighbouring coastal Heiltsuk people’s name for the Nuxálk, bḷ́xʷlá (rendered plxwlaq’s in Nuxalk orthography), meaning “stranger”.
The Nuxalk peoples, known collectively as Nuxalkmc, were four tribes (the Kimsquit from Dean Channel, the Tallheo/Talio from South Bentinck, the Stuic (Stuie) from Tweedsmuir Park, and the Kwalhna/Kwatna from King Island) who gathered in their current Bella Coola Valley, settling together based on cultural and linguistic similarities. Not everyone settled within the current Nuxalk Nation, and as such the Nuxalk share many family ties with their neighbours and beyond, most extensively with the Heiltsuk.
The Nuxalk Nation is a member of the Oweekeno-Kitasoo-Nuxalk Tribal Council, and until March 2008 was a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.