Voices of a Heiltsuk Landscape is an innovative collaboration between Simon Fraser University, Heiltsuk First Nation, the University of Victoria, and Greencoast Media, with support from the Hakai Institute and various funders.
Originating from the Heiltsuk’s interest in documenting their long-term connections to their traditional territory, the project showcases how the Heiltsuk lived in, interacted with, and modified the land and seascape, from mountaintop to ocean floor.
We focus on the ancestral village of Húy̓at on Northern Hunter Island; a place rich with archaeological and ethnographic records, and one that many Heiltsuk are still deeply connected to. With the community’s trust, and in close cooperation with all partners, we not only recorded the entire process, but conducted many interviews with Heiltsuk Elders, knowledge holders and scientists.
We launched the touchscreen and public website with the community in Bella Bella, and with the opening of a special Huyat exhibit at the Bill Reid Centre at Simon Fraser University. We are happy to keep receiving great reviews by teachers who are using the site and are humbled by the amount of recognition this project has been getting through four national and international awards so far:
1. Public Communication Award, Canadian Archaeological Association for outstanding achievements
2. MUSE Award, Honourable Mention, American Association of Museums
3. Best Interactive Media Award, Society for Visual Anthropology
4. Honourable Mention Award for Excellence in Impact and Engagement, BC Museums Association