Heiltsuk (Haiɫzaqvla)

Heiltsuk is a northern Wakashan language spoken in the Central Coast region of British Columbia in Canada. It is spoken by the Haihai (Xai'xais) and Bella Bella First Nations peoples in the villages of Bella Bella, on Campbell Island, and Klemtu, on Swindle Island. In 2014 there were 60 native speakers of Heiltsuk, according to the First Peoples' Cultural Council.

According to some sources Heiltsuk is classified as a dialect of Heiltsuk-Oowekyala. Others classify it as a separate language. It is also known as Haíɫzaqv, Hailhzaqvla, Bella Bella or Haihais

Heiltsuk legend talks of a piece of land that never froze during ice ages and where their ancestors went to survice. Archaeologists have found the remains of a village on Triquet Island in the Central Coast region of British Columbia that are about 14,000 years old, when most of Canada was covered in ice [source].

Heiltsuk alphabet and pronunciation

Heiltsuk alphabet and pronunciation


An acute accent (á) is used to indicate a high tone.

Source: Languagegeek

Download an alphabet chart for Heiltsuk (Excel)

Videos in Heiltsuk

Information about Heiltsuk | Numbers


Information about Heiltsuk

Heiltsuk First Nation website

Wakashan languages

Ditidaht, Haisla, Heiltsuk, Kwak̓wala, Liq’wala, Makah, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, Oowekyala

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 09.10.23


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