By Tim Milne
The Great Bear Rainforest is synonymous with stories and the art of storytelling. With more than 10,000 years of Indigenous history and the traditional territory of Coastal First Nations, Great Bear Rainforest is chock full of tales, adventures and simple stories just waiting to be written.
Storytelling in First Nations speak is just that…the spoken word. That oral history has been passed on from one generation to the next, preserving lessons and history alike. With the advent of colonialism, certainly, a bad thing from just about every perspective did come to the written word and historical preservation in another mould.
The frontier element of Great Bear Rainforest, comprising 6.4 million hectares of the British Columbia North and Central Coast, provides the fabric necessary for rich storytelling. Whether Indigenous, nautical, wildlife, adventuresome or profiling some truly salty coastal characters, the stories that comprise Great Bear are colourful and diverse.
One of the more breathtaking ways to experience Great Bear Rainforest is from the air. Many of the flights in and around the Central Coast and BC Inside Passage are incredibly scenic and offer a birds-eye view like nothing else. For a sky-high experience and incredible drone footage of Great Bear and BC Inside Passage check out Great Bear Tales on YouTube and Fly Over Inside Passage.
As coastal industry morphs from one of resource extraction to one of experiential travel and adventure, tourism and culture, new stories are being written just about every day. From new outdoor escapades to wildlife sightings to finding relaxation in a coastal hot spring, adventurous tales are morphing for the new blue economy and sustainable adventure.
So whether it be a newly found sustainable fishing activity or dipping a paddle on a cool coastal morning, experiencing Great Bear Rainforest has changed in just about every way imaginable.
With Indigenous culture at the forefront, stewardship and reconciliation are touchstone to a new relationship and tourism future in Great Bear. Working together in a respectful and sustainable way will pave the path forward for new coastal tourism. It’s an inclusive partnership that puts the environment above all else.
And it’s helping write a fresh story for a place with a plethora of rich history…the Great Bear Rainforest. Coastal First Nations. British Columbia. Canada. We at Great Bear Project, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and Destination BC are proud to launch a new re-imagined Great Bear Tales website and Youtube Channel to help tell the incredible stories of this storied place.