One of our primary motivations
for the Húy̓at project is to place the Heiltsuk and Heiltsuk voices “back on the land”. We do this by documenting the oral traditions, memories, archaeology, and ethnoecology of Húy̓at. Although we do not have photographs of the millennia of previous generations of Heiltsuk who lived in Húy̓at, it is important to imagine the many faces of people whose history is embedded in the Húy̓at landscape. Bringing the stories of these people forward helps keep their legacy alive for our future generations.
We get glimpses of these past generations through recent documentation.
In 1834, William Fraser Tolmie mentioned Chiefs Boston (known through family lines today as Gáluyaǧṃí), Kaghetasso (Q̓aíx̌ítasu), Umcheets (Hṃ́zit) and Qyostogous (Ǧviúst̓izas) as the chiefs of Lizzie Cove and central Húy̓at, though we know little of the details of their lives.
Even during the more recent Smokehouse Days, the lives of many people who lived in Húy̓at are not well known today. We are grateful to have a few precious photographs and stories of some of
who lived in Húy̓at in the 20th century. We are also fortunate to have recorded
of some of the many Heiltsuk who hold personal connections to Húy̓at today. All these people are the descendants of generations of Heiltsuk who have connected to the physical and non-tangible parts of Húy̓at.