Hakai Lúxvbálís (looks-bal-ease) Conservancy’s rich resources and sheltered anchorages have attracted people for more than 10,000 years. The Heiltsuk people were among the first to inhabit this area. Heiltsuk place names such as Hakai (“wide passage”), Namu (“whirlwind”) and Koeye (“sitting on water”) are reminders of this earlier habitation, as are such physical remnants as shell middens, fish traps, and canoe haulouts.
Heiltsuk oral tradition states that the original Heiltsuk ancestors were set down by the Creator in various areas in the territory now referred to as the Central Coast of British Columbia, before the time of the great flood.
The Heiltsuk people lived in many villages and seasonal camp locations throughout Heiltsuk territory. There were a number of tribal groups that lived in areas of Heiltsuk territory for millennia.
The dramatic contrast between marine and terrestrial landscapes make the Hakai Lúxvbálís Conservancy special within the BC Provincial Park system. The area includes some of the most varied and scenic coastline in the province with special features including lagoons, reversing tidal rapids and beaches.
The diversity of habitats within Hakai Lúxvbálís Conservancy results in a great wealth of flora and fauna. The intertidal waters are home to an amazing number of marine life forms whose lives and activities are controlled by the rhythmic movements of the tides. Every rock pool has its own distinctive inhabitants: mollusca, crabs, starfish, anemones, sea urchins and many others.
The offshore waters at Hakai are home to orca, minke, grey and humpback whales, as well as sea lions, seals, porpoises and dolphins. Orcas and Pacific white-sided dolphins are frequently seen as they cruise the waters of Hakai Pass. Grey whales may be spotted feeding in shallow bays while harbour seals are abundant and may be observed anywhere and at any time.
Over 100 species of birds have been identified in the Hakai Lúxvbálís Conservancy. Bald eagles are common. Hosts of sandpipers, plovers and other shore birds feed busily along the beaches and tidal flats. Feeding flocks of gulls, auklets, murres and murrelets are numerous in the waters of Kildidt and Queens Sounds. Black oyster catchers, pelagic cormorants, surf birds and both black and ruddy turnstones are also common. Black-tailed deer and wolves are very common. Due to the dense forest growth they are most likely to be seen on the beaches or swimming between islands. River otters and mink are sighted frequently along the shoreline. Other mammal inhabitants of the islands are beavers and black bears.