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AHOUSAHT FIRST NATION

Ahousaht means people of Ahous, a small bay on the west side of Vargas Island in Clayoquot Sound.  Ahousaht can be translated to mean ‘people living with their backs to the land and mountains on a beach along the open sea.’  Ahousaht First Nation territory encompasses much of Clayoquot Sound with the village of Maaqtusiis (Marktosis Indian Reserve IR #15) being the only reserve or village site inhabited year-round.  Ahousaht First Nation has 25 reserve sites within the nation’s territories, all accessible only by float plane or boat.


The traditional territories of the Ahousaht people are bordered by the Hesquiaht and Tlaoquiaht nations to the north and south respectively.  These territories, within and beyond the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, are home to an incredibly diverse ecosystem and a rare ancient temperate rain forest.  The Ahousaht people have lived in harmony with these territories since time immemorial guided by an understanding of the Nuu-chah-nulth worldview, “Heshook-ish tsawalk” which means “everything is one.”


Ahousaht First Nation is the largest of the Nuu-chah-nulth nations with over 2000 members.  Approximately 1/3 of Ahousaht members live within Ahousaht traditional territories while the remainder live in other rural and urban areas.  The contemporary family structure of the nation is an amalgamation of former tribes in the area including the Ahousaht, Manhousaht and Keltsmaht.


The traditional governance system of Ahousaht still exists today and is represented by three principle Hereditary Chiefs who are responsible to the Ahousaht people and the hahuulthi (ancestral territories and resources).  The Hereditary Leadership of Ahousaht recently established the Maaqtusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Corporation to further develop their contemporary capacity.  Ahousaht First Nation also currently operates with an Elected Chief and Council system.  There are 12 members of Council who are largely responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nation.  Both leadership bodies work closely with the nation’s administrative backbone organizations: Ahousaht Administration and the Ahousaht Education Authority.


With open arms and a big “chuu way!” the Ahousaht First Nation invites you to explore and learn about the people, territories, opportunities and culture.

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A new information gathering tool for the Ahousaht community.MuschimVOICE.html
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