Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua and his daughter heliski in their traditional territory. (Photo submitted)

Bella Coola Heli Sports eyes opportunity in Tatlayoko area

“We’re the perfect location for heli-skiing. As the crow flies, Nemiah is right in the middle”

Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua and his leadership team are considering allowing the elite sport of heli-skiing into their title area.

“They really want to put this area on their resume, so to speak,” said Lulua of the company, Bella Coola Heli Sports, who operate out of Whistler and Bella Coola.

“We’re the perfect location for heli-skiing. As the crow flies, Nemiah is right in the middle (between Whistler and Bella Coola).”

A skier himself, Lulua did spend six days with the company last winter heli-skiing for the first time in the Bella Coola area. Recently the company took Lulua and his daughter Kaitlyn heli-skiing on the Tsilhqot’in nation’s title lands, in the Tatlayoko area towards Homathko.

Read More: Docu-series on Xeni Gwet’in wild horses premieres tonight, Jan. 20

“It was a magical moment,” Lulua said of skiing on the mountaintops, which he describes as feeling “like you are floating on a cloud.

“But I did think my ancestors must be laughing at me coming down the mountain on a pair of skis.”

Lulua said he feels now is an exciting time for his community. It has been five years since the historic rights and title win in the area after years of being “economically deprived” due to the cost of taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Now the community can decide together what opportunities they would like to the see in the area and reap the benefits of those decisions.

So far, Lulua said they like how Bella Coola Heli Sports operates and the wildlife policies they have in place.

He feels the activity may be a good fit for the community, however, it will ultimately be up to the community to decide together.

“It’s pretty hard not to work with people who are fully transparent with you,” Lulua said of Bella Coola Heli Sports.

“I think it’s a great opportunity. Their clientele will bring awareness internationally. They will see the beauty of our area.”

Lulua estimates it will be another two years before, and if, a deal is reached.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New MP Taylor Bachrach makes his first trip to Bella Coola

Bachrach said he is keen to get to know his riding and the members of his constituency

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

Most Read