Alert Bay

Namgis Burial Grounds

The Namgis Burial Grounds is a First Nation cemetery dating back centuries resting in the community of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, BC, Canada. The island is part of the North Gulf Islands which are located off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

The burial grounds are the resting place for many of the First Nations people who first inhabited the island. Standing tall, marking many of the grave sites, are a number of ceremonial Totem Poles. Some of which are very old, faded and have fallen to the ground - some say, they are returning back to the earth. Then there are others still satnding withstanding the test of time honouring the souls and memories of the First Nation people.

Look closely at the Totem Poles and one can see the traditional figures carved into each one. Each figure representing a special meaning - telling a different story. There are figures of whales, eagles, bears, ravens and more. Each one painted in vibrant colors. Each one carved in a unique way.

The people of the island ask that you do not set foot onto the burial grounds. Please honour their request and show respect by staying outside the marked boundaries. From the gated boundaries one can still observe the many Totem Poles very easily.

How to Get to the Namgis Burial Grounds

Travel Highway 19 to the community of Port McNeill which is located on the north end of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. In the community of Port McNeill, on the waterfront, is a ferry terminal transporting people and vehicles to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. Once on Cormorant Island proceed down main street, pass the community, and the burial site is on your left.


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