In the beginning of time when our ancestors had the ability to change forms, a man emerged from a cedar tree near the mouth of a river known as Hada.

This man, Ts̓eḵame, had supernatural and shamanistic powers. Ts̓eḵame became one of the founding members of the Ḵwikwa̱sutinux̱ people, a tribe now living in Gwayasda̱ms on Gilford Island. In 1865, Royal Navy Commander Captain Daniel Pender named this river estuary “Bond Sound”.

Where the waves of the north Pacific meet the driftwood-strewn beaches, where original growth canopy carved by the cascade of waterfalls meets the sea, we share our territory with Orca and grizzlies, salmon, sea lions, eagles, deer, and sea otter.

We believe our natural and cultural resources must be sustained to maintain and safeguard our direct connection to our territory and its resources.

Nestled in the supernatural beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest of BC at the Hada River estuary, Nawalakw is a powerful and inspirational educational setting. At our camp, we recognize the role of our land as teacher and healer, guided by our ancestors and our elders.

We believe that reconciliation begins with oneself and then extends into our families, relationships, workplaces and eventually into our communities. Based on contemporary and traditional best practices, we will develop mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness, and create opportunities for cultural knowledge learning and application.

nawalakw culture camp

Nawalakw Culture Camp can house up to 24 students, their teachers, and up to 12 support staff, and will focus on year-round cultural programming and language revitalization.

nawalakw healing village and eco-tourism lodge

Initial plans include a healing village designed to provide early immersion language, training and certification programs, as well as healing programs in partnership with BC First Nations Health Authority. The lodge, individual cabins, wellness centre and outdoor facilities will operate as an eco-tourism facility during the summer and extend the healing village’s programming for the balance of the year. Operating surpluses from the Lodge and Healing village will be reinvested in the surrounding communities through projects and programming.

information for school groups

While our original plans had focused on welcoming groups of up to 24 students, their teachers and guardians to Nawalakw Camp, Covid-19 has changed these plans. In keeping with provincial and federal guidelines we expect to welcome groups of 6-10 students at one time, starting in April 2021. Following into the fall of 2021 we will continue to respect these provincial and federal regulations as they evolve.

Our initial focus will be on youth in grades 5-7, who have already had some exposure to kwak̓wala in their Band and Provincial Schools, though we plan to expand our focus over time and as Covid-19 retreats.

With respect for the unknown of Covid-19, we welcome inquiries from Band and Public schools who have a significant percentage of their students of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw descent, and wish to explore an immersive cultural experience in traditional territory.

Please contact us at

getting here

Nawalakw is located in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, Canada. Accessible by air and sea only, the Nawalakw Culture Camp will be the only structure at Hada (Bond Sound). For multi-day immersive language programs available at the Nawalakw Culture Camp in 2021, we will offer transportation to school groups by crew boat. A typical trip from Port McNeill to Hada will take 2 hours.

Several wildlife viewing tour operators currently offer day-tours departing from Port McNeill or Alert Bay.
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