Ports of Call

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Klemtu, British Columbia, Canada

On Swindle Island in the fjords of the British Columbia coast, Klemtu is a town of fewer than 500 people belonging to the Kitasoo Native Band. No one really knows how long the Kitasoo and the Xais-Xais groups occupied the site, but there were permanent villages here long before Europeans arrived. In the 1920s, the China Hat Cannery was established, which is now owned by the Band and is the main employer. Another source of income is the expert interpretive guiding of visitors to the region and performances of traditional dances. The town has a Big House as well as a gallery and museum. The town is located adjacent to the Great Bear Rainforest, a preserve dedicated to the protection of the native populations of grizzly, black and Kermode bears. The Kermode bears, sometimes called Spirit Bears, are an indigenous race of bears that seasonally change from white to light gold or tan in color, and have long been considered sacred to the Kitasoos. They are a separate race, and not albinos, having black eyes and noses. Visitors are attracted by the exceptional opportunity to see a Kermode bear in the wild.




Klemtu, British Columbia, Canada