Spectacular Sums Up Homalco Tour
Words and photos by Tricia Thomas
Visitors to Campbell River are posting rave reviews for Homalco Wildlife Tours, Journey to Bute Inlet and now it’s not just because of the grizzly bears.
This year, for the first time, the traditional territory of the Xwe’malhkwu (Homalco) people is on offer in the early days of summer for cultural tours. There may not be bears yet, but visitors encounter whales, porpoises and sea lions, eagles and other wildlife in the glacial green waters around Orford Bay.
The tours offer a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the lush wilderness through traditional customs and hospitality. Homalco youth serve as guides and play an important role in reclaiming their traditional cultural teachings and sharing those with others.
The tours’ mission is to transform Culture into ‘Cool-ture’ in the eyes of the young people who are infectiously spreading newfound pride throughout the community and to visitors from throughout the world.
From the welcoming ceremony, paddling a canoe, learning to weave cedar and meeting artists to a seafood feast with drumming and singing – a visit to Orford is rated as an experience of a lifetime.
The experience only gets better in mid-August as people visit the world-class destination to view grizzly bears feeding in their natural habitat as salmon runs begin.
Authorized tour operators at www.thebearsofbute.com.