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U'mista Cultural Centre

#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
+1 250-974-5403
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Review Highlights
Great learning experience

We visited Cormorant Island from the UK with virtually no understanding of the history of the place... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Rachel S
via mobile
A must-visit on your trip to Alert Bay

You'll see a lot of Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw cultural heritage here. An absolute must-see on your visit to... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Kimb0lini
,
Black Creek, Canada
Read all 165 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)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
LOCATION
#1 Front Street, Alert Bay, British Columbia VON 1A0, Canada
CONTACT
Website
+1 250-974-5403
Write a ReviewReviews (165)
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All reviews
"residential school"
in 15 reviews
"gift shop"
in 14 reviews
"first nations"
in 22 reviews
"big house"
in 9 reviews
"cultural treasures"
in 4 reviews
"world class"
in 3 reviews
"bc ferry"
in 3 reviews
"lovely building"
in 3 reviews
"local art"
in 4 reviews
"these items"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful collection"
in 2 reviews
"worthwhile stop"
in 2 reviews
"story telling"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful learning experience"
in 2 reviews
"interesting place"
in 2 reviews
"mask collection"
in 2 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 149 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited Cormorant Island from the UK with virtually no understanding of the history of the place or the people living there. This centre is awesome to teach you about just that and the care taken over the exhibitions is apparent. Really worth a visit.

Thank Rachel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

You'll see a lot of Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw cultural heritage here. An absolute must-see on your visit to Alert Bay.

Thank Kimb0lini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2018 via mobile

Stopped in with friends visiting. Excellent display of culture and art. Gift shop is a great spot for gifts. Enjoy your visit.

Thank bigcahoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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