Yuquot /ˈjuːkwɔːt/, also known as Fort San Miguel or Friendly Cove, is a small settlement of around six people - The Williams family of the Mowachaht band, plus two full-time lighthouse keepers, located on Nootka Island in Nootka Sound, just west of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It was the summer home of Chief Maquinna and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht (Nuu-chah-nulth) people for generations, housing approximately 1,500 natives in 20 traditional wooden longhouses. The name means "Wind comes from all directions" in Nuu-chah-nulth.

The community is located within the Strathcona Regional District but like all Indian Reserve communities is not governed by nor represented in the regional district. The Mowchaht/Muchalaht First Nations are rather part of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, which unites the governments of the indigenous communities of the Island's West Coast.

The Canadian government declared Friendly Cove a National Historic Site in 1923, with recognition of the significance of the Spanish colonial settlement that was once there and First Nations history following in 1997.

Nuu-chah-nulth children in Friendly Cove
Three Nuu-chah-nulth children in Yuquot, 1930s
LocationNootka Island in Nootka Sound, just west of Vancouver Island, Gold River, British Columbia, Canada
Governing bodyMowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations


Captain James Cook's visit to Nootka Sound in 1778 was the first known European sighting of Yuquot. A Spanish naval post, Santa Cruz de Nuca, protected by the cannon of Fort San Miguel, the only Spanish settlement ever established in Canada, was maintained there between 1789 and 1795, with Nootka Sound, usually referred to simply as "Nootka", becoming an important focal point for English, Spanish, and American Maritime Fur Trader and explorers. Yuquot was also the scene of the Nootka Incident, which nearly led to war between Spain and Britain. Negotiations in Europe calmed the situation and led to the first Nootka Convention. Each nation sent a commissioner to Nootka Sound in order to carry out the terms of the Nootka Convention and related diplomatic issues. Arriving in 1792, George Vancouver was commissioner for Britain and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra for Spain. Quadra also served as the commandant of the Spanish settlement at Yuquot, hosting Vancouver and his crew. Quadra and Vancouver had to engage in diplomatic negotiations due to the Nootka Convention's vagueness and lack of detail over how it was to be implemented. In addition both commissioners had been given incomplete, differing, and confused instructions by their governments. They negotiated for months but in the end failed to reach an agreement. The matter was sent back to the British and Spanish governments. The primary problem was a differing interpretation of the Nootka Convention. Vancouver's position, as instructed, was that the entire Spanish settlement was to be turned over to him. Quadra's position was that there was nothing left to turn over in accord with the Nootka Convention, but he made various offers, such as turning over a small cove in Nootka Sound, where John Meares had built the North West America in 1788, or turning over the entire settlement in exchange if Britain agreed to set the boundary between Spanish and British territory at the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Chief Maquinna played a role in the negotiations, identifying the cove where Meares had built his vessel, swearing that no land had ever been sold to the British and that the Spanish were the rightful occupants at Yuquot—and that only on the condition that the site be restored to his people as soon as possible. Unable to reach an agreement, Vancouver and Quadra left in late 1792 and the settlement at Yuquot remained under Spanish control until 1795, when the terms of the third Nootka Convention, calling for the "mutual abandonment" of Nootka, were carried out, after which the site was reoccupied by the Maquinna and the Mowachaht people.

John R. Jewitt, an English blacksmith, was held there for three years 1803-1805 as Maquinna's slave, following the capture of the trading ship Boston and the deaths of the captain and all but one other crew members. Jewitt's memoirs form an important record of Yuquot at that period.

See also

External links

  • "Yuquot". BC Geographical Names.
  • "Yuquot Indian Reserve 1". BC Geographical Names.

Coordinates: 49°36′N 126°37′W / 49.600°N 126.617°W

Aldona Jonaitis

Aldona Jonaitis is the director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North, a professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and an author who has published widely on Native American art.

From 1975 to 1989, Jonaitis was a faculty member and administrator at the State University at Stony Brook. Then from 1989 to 1993 she was the vice president for public programs at the American Museum of Natural History. Since then she has been in her current position as the director of the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Fort San Miguel

Fort San Miguel was a Spanish fortification at Yuquot (formerly Friendly Cove) on Nootka Island, just west of north-central Vancouver Island. It protected the Spanish settlement, called Santa Cruz de Nuca, the first colony in British Columbia.

James Cook

Captain James Cook (7 November 1728 – 14 February 1779) was a British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy. He made detailed maps of Newfoundland prior to making three voyages to the Pacific Ocean, during which he achieved the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Cook joined the British merchant navy as a teenager and joined the Royal Navy in 1755. He saw action in the Seven Years' War and subsequently surveyed and mapped much of the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River during the siege of Quebec, which brought him to the attention of the Admiralty and Royal Society. This acclaim came at a crucial moment in his career and the direction of British overseas exploration, and led to his commission in 1766 as commander of HM Bark Endeavour for the first of three Pacific voyages.

In three voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and scale not previously charted by Western explorers. As he progressed in his voyages of discovery, he surveyed and named features, and recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage, and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions.

Cook was attacked and killed in 1779 during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific while attempting to kidnap Hawaiian chief Kalaniʻōpuʻu in order to reclaim a cutter stolen from one of his ships. He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which influenced his successors well into the 20th century, and numerous memorials worldwide have been dedicated to him.

List of National Historic Sites of Canada in British Columbia

This is a list of National Historic Sites (French: Lieux historiques nationaux) in the province of British Columbia. There are 95 National Historic Sites designated in British Columbia, 13 of which are administered by Parks Canada (identified below by the beaver icon ). The first National Historic Sites to be designated in British Columbia were Fort Langley and Yuquot in 1923.

Numerous National Historic Events also occurred across B.C., and are identified at places associated with them, using the same style of federal plaque which marks National Historic Sites. Several National Historic Persons are commemorated throughout the province in the same way. The markers do not indicate which designation—a Site, Event, or Person—a subject has been given. The Rideau Canal is a Site, for example, while the Welland Canal is designated an Event. The cairn and plaque to John Macdonell does not refer to a National Historic Person, but is erected because his home, Glengarry House, is a National Historic Site. Similarly, the plaque to John Guy officially marks not a Person, but an Event—the Landing of John Guy.This list uses names designated by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, which may differ from other names for these sites.

List of historic places in the Strathcona Regional District

The following list includes all of the Canadian Register of Historic Places listings in Strathcona Regional District, British Columbia.


For the underwater mud volcano, see Maquinna (volcano).Maquinna (also transliterated Muquinna, Macuina, Maquilla) was the chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Nootka Sound, during the heyday of the maritime fur trade in the 1780s and 1790s on the Pacific Northwest Coast. The name means "possessor of pebbles". His people are today known as the Mowachaht and reside today with their kin, the Muchalaht, at Gold River, British Columbia, Canada.

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations

The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations are a First Nations government on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations are a member nation of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, which spans all Nuu-chah-nulth-aht peoples (incorrectly known as "Nootka") except for the Pacheedaht First Nation.

Their main reserve is at Gold River, British Columbia but the Mowachaht are originally from Yuquot on Nootka Sound, known to history as Friendly Cove, scene of the Nootka Incident and, later, the negotiations and eventual implementation of the Nootka Conventions between Britain and Spain, hosted by the Mowachaht chief Maquinna.

Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park

Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park (Nisga'a: Anhluut'ukwsim Laxmihl Angwinga'asankswhl Nisga'a) is a provincial park in the Nass River valley in northwestern British Columbia, Canada, about 80 kilometres north of Terrace, and near the Nisga'a Villages of Gitlakdamix and Gitwinksihlkw.

The park was established by Order in Council on April 29, 1992, expanded in 1995, included in the Nisga'a Treaty in 2000, and is the first park in the province to be jointly managed by the government and a First Nation. An interpretive centre in a traditional Nisga'a longhouse informs visitors about the Nisga'a legend that accounts for the lava as well as geological causes.

The park has waterfalls, pools, cinder cones, tree moulds, lava tubes, spatter cones, a lava-dammed lake, caves and other features created by lava flows. The park aims to protect moose, goats, marmots, bears and many other species of wildlife.

The park covers 178.93 square kilometres in area.

Nootka Island

Nootka Island (French: île Nootka) is an island adjacent to Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is 510 square kilometres (200 sq mi) in area. It is separated from Vancouver Island by Nootka Sound and its side-inlets, and is located within Electoral Area A of the Strathcona Regional District.

Europeans named the island after a Nuu-chah-nulth language word meaning "go around, go around". They likely thought the natives were referring to the island itself. The Spanish and later English applied the word to the island and the sound, thinking they were naming both after the people.In the 1980s, the First Nations peoples in the region created the collective autonym of Nuu-chah-nulth, a term that means "along the outside (of Vancouver Island)". An older term for this group of peoples was "Aht", which means "people" in their language and is a component in all the names of their subgroups, and of some locations (e.g. Yuquot, Mowachaht, Kyuquot, Opitsaht etc.).

Nootka Sound

Nootka Sound is a sound of the Pacific Ocean on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, in the Canadian province of British Columbia, historically known as King George's Sound. It separates Vancouver Island and Nootka Island. It played a historically important role in the maritime fur trade.


The Nuu-chah-nulth (; Nuučaan̓uł: [nuːt͡ʃaːnˀuɬ]), also formerly referred to as the Nootka, Nutka, Aht, Nuuchahnulth or Tahkaht, are one of the most indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast in Canada. The term Nuu-chah-nulth is used to describe fifteen related tribes whose traditional home is on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

In precontact and early post-contact times, the number of tribes was much greater, but the smallpox epidemics and other consequences of contact resulted in the disappearance of some groups and the absorption of others into neighbouring groups. The Nuu-chah-nulth are related to the Kwakwaka'wakw, the Haisla, and the Ditidaht First Nation. The Nuu-chah-nulth language belongs to the Wakashan family.

The governing body is the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

Nuu-chah-nulth language

Nuu-chah-nulth (nuučaan̓uɫ), also known as Nootka , is a Wakashan language spoken in the Pacific Northwest of North America on the west coast of Vancouver Island, from Barkley Sound to Quatsino Sound in British Columbia by the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. Nuu-chah-nulth is a Southern Wakashan language related to Nitinaht and Makah.

It is the first language of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast to have documentary written materials describing it. In the 1780s, Captains Vancouver, Quadra, and other European explorers and traders frequented Nootka Sound and the other Nuu-chah-nulth communities, making reports of their voyages. From 1803–1805 John R. Jewitt, an English blacksmith, was held captive by chief Maquinna at Nootka Sound. He made an effort to learn the language, and in 1815 published a memoir with a brief glossary of its terms.

Saltair, British Columbia

Saltair is an unincorporated community with a population of 2,069 on the east coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada located between Chemainus and Ladysmith. It is within the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

Santa Cruz de Nuca

Santa Cruz de Nuca (or Nuca), was a Spanish settlement and the first European colony in British Columbia. The settlement was founded in 1789 and abandoned in 1795, with its far northerly position making it the "high-water mark" of verified Northerly Spanish settlement along the North American West coast. The colony was first established with the Spanish aim of securing the entire West coast of the continent from Vancouver island southwards, for the Spanish crown.

Due to the ongoing presence and activities of several British fur trading ships in the same region, and other related factors, this Spanish attempt at making such a substantial claim for possession and conquest along the North American West coast ultimately failed. The colony was also once briefly abandoned between October 1789 and April 1790. In 1795 the colony was finally abandoned for the last time following the final settlement and signing of the Nootka Convention. This final Spanish abandonment of the area left the Spanish missions in the San Francisco Bay area as the most Northerly successful permanent Spanish settlements in that part of the continent.

The Nootka Convention resolved the earlier armed international struggles which had surrounded this colony, and which struggles had almost led to war between Britain and Spain. The colony had been protected by the adjacent Fort San Miguel. Santa Cruz de Nuca was the only verified Spanish settlement in what is now Canada. Some early Spanish maps had claimed the existence of additional Spanish setttlements in the area, however these other unverified local ghost-Spanish-settlements appear to have most probably been merely a "political fiction," created by Spanish cartographers with the aim of dissuading other nations from attempting to expand in the area.


Skedans, also known variously as Koona, Q'una, Koona LLnaagay, K'uuna Llnagaay, Q!o'na Inaga'-I, Q:o'na, and Ḵ'uuna Llnagaay which are variants of its traditional name in the Haida language, is a village located at the head of Cumshewa Inlet in Haida Gwaii, North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. The name Skedans derived by the practice of captains of the maritime fur trade to name villages after their most prominent chiefs.

The name Skedans is a rendering of Gida'nsta, a Haida term of respect meaning "from his daughter", which is how the reigning chief of the village, Qa'gials qe'gawa-i, was addressed by children (he is usually known as Chief Skedans). Koona Llnaagay means "Village at the Edge", a reference to the village's location on a small peninsula. Another Haida name for the village, Huadju-lanas or Xu'adji la'nas, means "Grizzly-Bear-Town", a reference to the large number of portrayals of grizzly bears on the totem poles and other artwork adorning the village.

The village site is part of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site and is itself a National Historic Site of Canada.

The Indian Church (painting)

The Indian Church (renamed Church at Yuquot Village in 2018 by the Art Gallery of Ontario) is a 1929 painting by Canadian artist Emily Carr. Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris bought the painting to showcase it in his dining room, and called it Carr's best work. In 1930, the work was shown in the Fifth Annual Exhibition of Canadian Art organised by the National Gallery of Canada. In 1938, the painting was chosen for an exhibition titled A Century of Canadian Art, at the Tate Gallery. The exhibition was described by Vincent Massey as "a most representative showing of Canadian painting and sculpture, including all schools and all periods." It is considered a "transitional" painting because it reflects the transition of Carr's artistic work from purely depicting Native Art to shifting her focus toward the land.In her autobiography, Carr wrote that she "felt the subject deeply". She painted it at Friendly Cove, near a lighthouse. When Carr saw her painting in Harris's home, she exclaimed: "The house must have bewitched this thing! It was better than I had thought." However she could not look at it, because she could not accept praise from other people, and felt embarrassed when others complimented her about her work.The painting is one of Carr's most reproduced works, and was eventually donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario by Charles Band.

Third voyage of James Cook

James Cook's third and final voyage (12 July 1776 – 4 October 1780)

took the route from Plymouth via Cape Town and Tenerife to New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands, and along the North American coast to the Bering Strait.

Its ostensible purpose was to return Omai, a young man from Raiatea, to his homeland, but the Admiralty used this as a cover for their plan to send Cook on a voyage to discover the Northwest Passage. HMS Resolution, to be commanded by Cook, and HMS Discovery, commanded by Charles Clerke, were prepared for the voyage which started from Plymouth in 1776.

Omai was returned to his homeland and the ships sailed onwards, discovering the Hawaiian Archipelago, before reaching the Pacific coast of North America. The two charted the west coast of the continent and passed through the Bering Strait when they were stopped by ice from sailing either east or west. The vessels returned to the Pacific and called briefly at the Aleutians before retiring towards Hawaii for the winter.

At Kealakekua Bay, a number of quarrels broke out between the Europeans and Hawaiians culminating in Cook's death in a violent exchange on 14 February 1779. The command of the expedition was assumed by Charles Clerke who tried in vain to find the passage before his own death. Under the command of John Gore the crews returned to a subdued welcome in London in October 1780.

Whaling in Canada

Whaling in Canada encompasses both aboriginal and commercial whaling, and has existed on all three Canadian oceans, Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic. The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast have whaling traditions dating back millennia, and the hunting of cetaceans continues by Inuit (mostly beluga and narwhal, but also the subsistence hunting of the bowhead whale). Commercial whaling was one of the stimuli for Europeans to explore the sub-Arctic and Arctic, possibly as early as the 14th century. By the late 20th century, watching whales was a more profitable enterprise than hunting them.

Yuquot Whalers' Shrine

The Yuquot Whalers' Shrine (known also as 'prayer house' or 'washing house'), previously located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, was a site of purification rituals, passed down through the family of a Yuquot chief. It contained a collection of 88 carved human figures, four carved whale figures, and sixteen human skulls. Since the early twentieth century, it has been in the possession of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, but is rarely displayed. Talks are underway regarding repatriation.

Communities on Vancouver Island

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