When Oprah Winfrey went yachting as a guest on the yacht Nova Spirit, she was not into a “bikini” type of holiday. Instead, she was visitng ALERT BAY, a first nations village in British Columbia. The talk show host went to the small community on the yacht Nova Spirit owned by BC billionaire Jim Pattison. She walked through the area without security or body guards, posing for photos with fans. Namgis First Nations Chief Bill Cranmer gave the celebrity the town tour and invited her to a potlach organized by his band.
Alert Bay is located on Cormorant Island, along the BC Inside Passage. This crescent-shaped island is situated just off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, approximately 180 miles by water from the city of Vancouver. Located on the beautiful Inside Passage of British Columbia, Alert Bay can be reached by taking a 40-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill.
Alert Bay has a population of approx.1700 people, with 1,000 First Nations residents and 700 white people. The town is very picturesque and full of history. Residents are proud of the First Nations heritage and are very friendly to visitors.
There are many reasons to visit Alert Bay. Its beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, native culture, history, saltwater fishing….. Alert Bay is known as the “home of the killer whale” and has the tallest totem pole in BC. It also has an excellent First Nations museum containing potlach paraphernalia that were confiscated during the early 1900 in an attempt by the white settlers and the missionaries to assimilate the native Indians as they call “remove the Indian out of them”. Some of the items on display are letters by Indian chiefs protesting the confiscation.
For more information on the yacht Nova Spirit, visit http://www.bluebookofboats.com/BoatModels/NovaSpirit.htm
or Alert Bay