Alert Bay, British Columbia
Alert Bay is a small village on Cormorant Island, with approximately 1,300 residents. More than half are First Nations people. The settlement was named in 1860 in honour of the Royal Navy ship HMS Alert, which conducted survey operations in the area. The traditional Kwakwaka’wakw people of Alert Bay have endured a difficult history of devastating foreign diseases and failed government policies of assimilation. Today there is a revival of their traditions. One of the most well-known features in Alert Bay is the 173 foot wooden carved totem pole, claimed by some to be the tallest totem pole in the world.