A Kermode bear, also known as a spirit bear, climbs a crab apple tree to grab its fruit in the Great Bear Rainforest, in British Columbia. These rare white bears are sacred to First Nations people.
First Nations Fight to Protect the Rare Spirit Bear from Hunters
An indigenous community reconnects with its heritage by working to end hunting and promote bear-watching in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest.
KLEMTU, GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST, BRITISH COLUMBIAThere are stories about the white bears that hide in the deep forest of British Columbia’s coast. Old stories, handed down from one generation to the next for thousands of years, since the last Ice Age gripped the world, and glaciers licked the edge of the rain forest.
One tale, told by the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nation, says that as the sheets of ice began to retreat, Raven—the creator of all things—made the animal known as the spirit bear to remind him of the ice and snow. It’s a story that speaks not only to First Nations’ connection with wildlife but also to their deep roots in the Great Bear Rainforest, an area the size of Switzerland that’s home to some 20,000