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


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

Just Posted

Cariboo’s Strongest tests athletes’ mettle

Twenty men and three women took part

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

COVID on Central Coast prompts call for information sharing

At least four cases have been identified on the central coast

NAALS receives funding for new child care centre

This project incorporates a longhouse design and reflects a Nuxalk architectural approach.

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Most Read