Heiltsuk (pronounced HAIL-tsuk) (also Bella Bella) is a dialect (or a sublanguage) of the North Wakashan (Kwakiutlan) language Heiltsuk-Oowekyala that is spoken by a few Haihai and Bella Bella First Nations peoples around Bella Bella and Klemtu, British Columbia.
It is also the name of the First Nation who speak the language. The Heiltsuk Nation’s largest community is Bella Bella.
The Heiltsuk are comprised of the descendants of a number of tribal groups who came together in Bella Bella in the 19th Century and came to be called the Bella Bella Indians. They generally refer to themselves as Heiltsuk.
As with many other Nations on the coast they were subject to drastic population loss as a result of introduced diseases and heightened military conflicts during the fur trade era.
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