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U'mista Cultural Centre

#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
+1 250-974-5403
Review Highlights
Learned so much

The U'mista Cultural Centre was such a wonderful experience in learning about the history and... read more

Reviewed 17 October 2017
Patrick B
Austin, Texas
Fascinating insight into the complex into local 1st Nation culture

This centre has a great museum full of fascinating objects which is not to be missed. It is clearly... read more

Reviewed 27 September 2017
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Read all 162 reviews
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U'mista Cultural Centre is one of the longest-operating and most successful First Nations cultural facilities in BC, founded in 1980 as a ground breaking project to house potlatch artifacts which had been seized by government during an earlier period of cultural repression. The return of the potlatch artifacts not only provided U'mista's name ('the return of something important'), and sparked a general trend toward repatriation of First Nations and cultural artifacts, it caused the creation of a physical facility and human resources infrastructure which have been successfully operated for over two decades.U'mista now operates a modern museum and cultural education facility in Alert Bay. Their operations include the museum, an extensive art gallery and gift shop, group tours, and presentations by dance troupes. The facility hosts international scholars, and supports researchers in a range of disciplines.
  • Excellent83%
  • Very good14%
  • Average2%
  • Poor0%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gift shop” (14 reviews)
“first nations” (22 reviews)
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Hours Today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
+1 250-974-5403
Write a ReviewReviews (162)
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1 - 10 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 17 October 2017

The U'mista Cultural Centre was such a wonderful experience in learning about the history and traditions of the First Nation peoples. They have done such a nice job in gathering the artifacts from the far flung places that they were sent when taken from the...More

Thank Patrick B
Reviewed 27 September 2017

This centre has a great museum full of fascinating objects which is not to be missed. It is clearly and professionally displayed. Beautiful masks, woven pieces and other artifacts tell the story of the 1st Nations in the area supported by a film giving insight...More

Thank 19margaret48
Reviewed 24 September 2017

I have been to this wonderful museum/learning centre as a guest of the Namis! I have always found the experience to be spiritual. I have always taken something different away with my spirit each time I am a guest here. I am now a member...More

Thank paddle62
Reviewed 21 September 2017 via mobile

Really enjoyed our trip here with our 6 year old as we wanted him to get a sense of indigenous canadian culture and history. The room with the masks is very atmospheric. And there's a great kids area where they can do colouring and touch...More

Thank Pidders1
Reviewed 20 September 2017

An excellent introduction to some of the First Nations' traditions. Take the time to view everything and reflect on it; a bit overwhelming for someone with no prior knowledge, but I left wanting to know more.

Thank Kevan K
Reviewed 15 September 2017

This place is amazing. If you don't know the history of the potlatch or the local people this is the place to go. The potlatch masks and regalia are amazing. A reminder of how badly the residents of coastal BC were treated by the European...More

Thank S C
Reviewed 6 September 2017

Great visit at the centre. Their collection of ritual masks is very impressive! Would highly recommend to pay a visit there when in Alert Bay

Thank mazzabelle
Reviewed 6 September 2017

I was overjoyed with the opportunity to see up-close some beautiful masks and traditional woven blanks. There is also a lovely set of photographs, taken by a photographer who appears to have captured the essence of some influential members of the community and storytellers. I...More

Thank C C
Reviewed 4 September 2017

A collection of potlatch masks and artifacts of the Namgis people, this centre does a fine job of showcasing the rich first nations arts produced in the area and also educating visitors on the history of the peoples and effects of colonization on the region....More

Thank Leena N
Reviewed 2 September 2017 via mobile

This wonderful musuem style center is beautifully done. There is loads of historical and cultural information and an interactive area for children and adults wishing to touch/try on clothing items. The entrance fee is reasonable and there is a gift shop here as well.

Thank breadandbutta
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