Gilakas'la, Welcome!

Mamalilikulla, Tlowitsis, Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala, Wei Wai Kum, We Wai Kai, and K’ómoks are the member First Nations of the Nanwakolas Council. These First Nations each hold responsibility for the stewardship of Aweenak’ola, which means “the lands we are on,” within their traditional areas on North Vancouver Island and the mainland coast of what is now British Columbia, Canada.

The name Nanwakolas, which means “a place we go to find agreement,” honours traditional ways of making decisions collaboratively that will benefit all the member First Nations. Through the Nanwakolas Council, they come together to make decisions on matters in which they share common interests. They unite to uphold their Aboriginal rights and title, using the powerful collective voice of the Nanwakolas Council. The Nanwakolas Council engages with governments, industry, and partners of the member First Nations to protect the rights of the First Nations, and to ensure they are honoured and respected.


The Nanwakolas Council provides the member First Nations with information services, technical support, coordination and advice, to assist them in their decision-making and work. That work includes reviewing applications for provincial tenures and permits referred to the member First Nations for their decision and watching over Aweenak’ola through the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network.

Read More

Stewardship Areas

Stewardship of Aweenak’ola requires careful planning: always thinking ahead to what needs to be done to keep Aweenak’ola healthy, how to take care of the natural environment and the creatures within it, how to carefully cultivate food sources and harvest them respectfully, and honouring age-old practices and traditions that have always kept Aweenak’ola productive and vibrant.

Planning requires information: research and observation of the seasonal cycles, what is changing, and why those changes might be happening. Monitoring these changes requires having knowledgeable, skilled Guardians out on the land and waters, gathering information, and ensuring the careful and proper stewardship of Aweenak’ola.

The Nanwakolas Council delivers the following four program areas to the member First Nations incorporating those activities. These program areas are all connected to each other, and support the Aboriginal rights and title of the Nanwakolas member First Nations.

Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network

A network of Nanwakolas member First Nations’ Guardian programs, fulfilling the member First Nations’ ancestral rights and responsibilities to take care of their lands, waters, wildlife and food sources for future generations
Read More

Lands

Taking care of the lands, wildlife and food sources in ways that reinforce and enhance the Nanwakolas member First Nations’ governance, economy, cultural well-being, and health. The Nanwakolas Council Lands Team works with the Nanwakolas member First Nations and the… 
Read More

Waters

Taking care of the marine environment in ways that enhance the stewardship responsibilities of the Nanwakolas member First Nations, and reflect their governance, economy, cultural and human well-being objectives
Read More

Referrals

Protecting and advocating for the Aboriginal rights of the Nanwakolas member First Nations in reviewing applications for provincial tenures and permits and other commercial activity in their traditional areas referred to them for decision
Read More

Latest News

Cultural Awareness and Learning: the Two-Eyed Seeing Workshop
This workshop, led by Alexandra Thomas (Tlowitsis) offers participants the opportunity to learn about Indigenous ways of knowing, and will help participants understand First Nations’ connection to their territories and the significance of this land’s…
Read More
WHEN THE GOING GETS REAL, THE GUARDIANS GET GOING
The Ha-ma-yas Guardians have been practising responses to marine disaster scenarios for three years now in partnership with the Canadian Coast Guard and Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC). When a fuel tanker carrying 17,000…
Read More
Traditional Feast Marks Beginning of Co-Governance Agreement for Great Bear Sea
Photo credit: Emilee Gilpin Representative from three governments gathered at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art on February 9, 2023, to celebrate the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Network Action Plan, which marks the…
Read More

Member Nations

The Nanwakolas Council is comprised of six member First Nations whose traditional territories are located in the Northern Vancouver Island and adjacent South Central Coast areas of British Columbia.

Red line denotes the combined territories of Nanwakolas member nations.