Community of Klemtu

Located on BC 's Inside Passage Route in the Heart of The Great Bear Rainforest

Klemtu is a small, remote village situated on Swindle Island on BC's famed Inside Passage and is home to approximately 420 people.



The residents in this region consists of two indigenous cultural linguistic groups – the Tsimshian, whose origins are from the neighbouring north coast; and the Xai’xais (Hihg-hais), who are from the central coast. Since the last ice age this area has been largely uninhabited except for the Kitasoo and Xai'xais people who have thrived here for thousands of years in one of the richest, most diverse ecosystems on earth.

Many, many years ago, the Kitasoo and Xai'xais people came to settle here in Klemdulxk (Klemtu), meaning 'blocked passage', due to abundance of sea kelp in the bay. This area was first their camping site along the way for trade, and then later used for trading and providing cordwood to fuel the steamships which travelled the Inside Passage.

The people of Klemtu share a vivid and distinct social and cultural history. Traditional cultural celebrations, including potlatches, singing, dancing, storytelling and art, display and express this rich history. These celebrations have carried on through generations, and thus, provide a means for passing cultural and social values. Today, these celebrations continue as a spirited aspect of the local culture.

Historically, the local people have relied on the bounty of natural resources that the area provides. Rich aquatic life in the ocean and lush temperate rainforest has supported the indigenous people of the area for thousands of years. This emotional and spiritual attachment to the natural environment is expressed in the social organization and spirituality of the people. Fishing, hunting, food gathering, arts, crafts, cooking, healing, transportation and building all are tied to the natural environment.

Klemtu Boardwalk with old wood homes   Klemtu Old Boardwalk   Klemtu local children on fence

Today, Klemtu is a close knit community of about 420 Kitasoo and Xaixais people surrounded by breathtaking scenery and an abundant natural food supply. This is a place where life is peaceful and upon arrival to Klemtu you will be greeted by the friendly community. Throughout your stay you will be exposed to the rich culture of the Kitasoo/ Xaixais people and gain an insight into this remote village that was once a bustling coastal fishing and trading centre.