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The Toquaht People

The Toquaht are the people of Toquaht Bay, Mayne Bay, and western Barkley Sound and are one of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nations who have lived along Vancouver Island’s west coast for over 10,000 years. As marine Peoples, the Toquaht have always lived in respectful harmony with the sea and coastal environment. Our main summer village was Du Quah, situated at the mouth of Ucluelet Inlet, which was a strategic defence position.

Throughout the 19th Century, disease and warfare heavily impacted Toquaht Nation. As a result, Toquaht Nation is now one of the smallest of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nations. Toquaht Nation has approximately 20 community members living in the Nation’s central community and about 150 citizens living in Ucluelet, Port Alberni, and other cities along the coast.

A Prayer for the Nuu-Chah-Nulth People

The prayer below by Benson Nookemis, from Huu-ay-aht First Nation, is a good one for Nuučaan̓uł (Nuu-Chah-Nulth) language learners to practice. This prayer was recorded during Ling 182, Language Revitalization and Activism, June 25, 2014, organized by the Quuquuatsa Language Society.

We all stand behind our language. We welcomed the opportunity to learn this prayer. The following learners were present: Shaunee Casavant, Patty Frank, Annie George, Gale Johnsen, Patsy Lecoy, Vi Mundy, Marie Newfield, Hilda Nookemis, Arlene Paul, John Rampanen, Phyllis Rossignol, Marilyn Short, Tessa Smith, Rose Touchie, and Samantha Touchie. The instructor, Sʔímlaʔxʷ (Michele Johnson), produced and posted the recording.