The Return of Cultural Treasures to Huu-ay-aht First Nations

On November 18, 2016, as part of the historic Maa-nulth First Nations Final Agreement, completed in 2011 with the governments of British Columbia and Canada, the Huu-ay-aht reclaimed some of their cultural heritage and art from the Museum in a physical and legal transfer.

The 17 Huu-ay-aht cultural treasures were brought home from the Royal BC Museum for a ceremonial welcome and displayed for Huu-ay-aht citizens at their annual People’s Assembly in Port Alberni. It has been more than 100 years since some of these cultural treasures left Huu-ay-aht’s territory.

This is the first repatriation to be completed under the terms of the Maa-nulth Final Agreement. In total, 51 Huu-ay-aht cultural treasures from the Royal BC Museum collections are named in the Maa-nulth Final Agreement for return to the Huu-ay-aht. Of the 51 cultural treasures identified, the other 34 will remain at the Royal BC Museum until the Huu-ay-aht First Nations request their transfer.