Heiltsuk Dialect
Get Heiltsuk Dialect essential facts below. View Videos or join the Heiltsuk Dialect discussion. Add Heiltsuk Dialect to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Heiltsuk Dialect
Bella Bella
RegionNorthern Central Coast Regional District, British Columbia, Canada
EthnicityHeiltsuk people
Native speakers
95 (2016)[1]
125 L2
Language codes

Heiltsuk ,[2] also known as Haí?zaqv, Bella Bella and Haihais, is a dialect of the North Wakashan (Kwakiutlan) language Heiltsuk-Oowekyala that is spoken by the Haihai (Xai'xais) and Bella Bella First Nations peoples of the Central Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, around the communities of Bella Bella and Klemtu, British Columbia. Bella Bella is the headquarters of the Heiltsuk Nation government.

Heiltsuk is spoken in the villages of Bella Bella and Klemtu, both located on coastal islands in British Columbia not far from Bella Coola and Ocean Falls. It is one of the four Northern Wakashan languages, the others being Haisla (spoken in Kitimaat), Oowekyala (in Rivers Inlet), and Kwakwala (in Alert Bay, Port Hardy, and various settlements).[3]

Heiltsuk is considered to be a dialect of Heiltsuk-Oowekyala, which, like neighbouring Haisla and Kwak'wala, are part of the Northern Wakashan language group. Heiltsuk has both conversational and ceremonial forms.[4]



Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
central lateral plain lab. plain lab.
Nasal plain m n
glottalized ?m ?n
Plosive voiceless p t k k? q q? ?
aspirated p? t? k? k q? q
ejective p' t' k' k?' q' q?'
Affricate voiceless ts t?
aspirated ts? t
ejective ts' t?'
Fricative s ? x x? ? h
Approximant plain l j w
glottalized ?l ?j ?w


There are mainly three vowel sounds in the Heiltsuk dialect noted as /i, u, a/, although nine other sounds or allophones are heard as [?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, æ, ?, ?].


  1. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ William C. Sturtevant, 1978. Handbook of North American Indians: Northwest Coast
  3. ^ Rath, John C. (1981). A Practical Heiltsuk-English Dictionary with a Grammatical Introduction. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.
  4. ^ Black, Martha (1997). Bella Bella: A Season of Heiltsuk Art. Toronto/Vancouver/Seattle: Royal Ontario Museum/Douglas & McIntyre/University of Washington Press. p. xii. ISBN 1-55054-556-6.


  • Boas, Franz. (1928). Bella Bella texts. Columbia University contributions to anthropology (No. 5).
  • Boas, Franz. (1932). Bella Bella tales. Memoirs of the American Folklore Society (No. 25).
  • Howe, Darin M. (2000). Oowekyala segmental phonology. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Ottawa).
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Poser, William J. (2003). The status of documentation for British Columbia native languages. Yinka Dene Language Institute Technical Report (No. 2). Vanderhoof, British Columbia: Yinka Dene Language Institute.
  • Rath, John C. (1974). On the Phonological Description of the Heiltsuk Language. Dutch Contributions to the 9th International Conference on Salish Languages.
  • Rath, John C. (1981). A practical Heiltsuk-English dictionary with a grammatical introduction. Mercury Series paper, Canadian Ethnology Service, (No. 75). Vol. i & ii. Ottawa: National Museums of Canada.
  • Windsor, Evelyn W. (1982). Oowekeeno oral traditions as told by the late chief Simon Walkus, Sr. Hilton, S.; & Rath, J. (Eds.). Mercury series (No. 84). Ottawa: National Museum of Man.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes