The Nuu-chah-nulth peoples are composed of a number of First Nations and tribes located on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Fourteen First Nations are separated into three regions. In the northern region are the Ehattesaht, Kyuquot/ Cheklesahht, Mowachat/ Muchalaht and the Nuchatlaht. The southern region is composed of five First Nations including the Ditidaht, Huu-ay-aht, Hupac-asath, Tse-shaht, and the Uchacklesaht. In the central region there are Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Toquaht and the Ucluelet. The term ‘Nuu-chah-nulth’ translates as ‘all along the mountains and sea’ and the territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples are termed the ‘ha’houlthee.’ 1
The language of the Nuu-chah-nulth people is Nuučaan̓uɫ (Nuu-chah-nulth) and has previously been called Nootka or West Coast. There are three explicit dialects of Nuučaan̓uɫ: Northern Nuučaan̓uɫ (Brooks Peninsula to Kyuquot Sound), Barkley (Barkley Sound), Central Nuučaan̓uɫ (Kyuoquot Sound to Clayoquot Sound). 2
The Nuu-chah-nulth peoples are the central whalers of the Northwest Coast peoples living in British Columbia. Their whaling canoes reflect a skilled development in building crafts that can both navigate the turbulent waters and successfully tow whales. The subject of whaling is reflected in numerous objects from the Nuu-chah-nulth community in the University of Victoria's Art collection. These include Cedar Hats, prints and carvings. Work by Nuu-chah-nulth artists such as Tim Paul, Art Thompson, Glen Webster, Patrick Amos, Ben David, Joe David, Ron Hamilton, Frank Charlie, and Moy Sutherland among many others can be found in the collections.