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Nestled amidst the pristine beauty of Tofino on Vancouver Island, Tin Wis Resort stands as a beacon of transformation and reconciliation in the world of tourism. This Indigenous-owned resort not only offers visitors a tranquil escape but also plays a pivotal role in rewriting the narrative of tourism in Tofino. Today, we explore the remarkable journey of Tin Wis Resort, the profound significance of Orange Shirt Day in Canada, and the importance of supporting Indigenous communities when visiting Tofino.

Tin Wis Resort: A Journey of Reclamation

Tin Wis Resort, though now a haven of relaxation and natural splendor, holds a poignant history deeply intertwined with the Indigenous communities of the region. The resort is situated within Tla-o-qui-aht Ḥaaḥuułi and the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, marking the ancestral home of the Tla-o-qui-aht people. For tens of thousands of years, this land served as the site of their ancestral village.

However, the land’s history also bears the scars of a painful past. Tin Wis was once the site of an Indian Residential School (IRS), specifically known as Christie Residential School (Tofino). In the Truth and Reconciliation Final Report, this institution is identified as a place where Indigenous children endured the harsh realities of forced assimilation and cultural erasure. The Christie Residential School was relocated to this site after the closure of Kakawis on Meares Island, making it the last IRS to close in British Columbia, though not the last in Canada (Saskatchewan, 1996).

The process of reclaiming this sacred ancestral site began in 1981 when a hostel and campground, operated by Tla-o-qui-aht, were established. This marked the early steps in the transformation of Tin Wis into a symbol of resilience and cultural preservation. Over the years, the resort has evolved into a space that not only provides employment opportunities for Tla-o-qui-aht citizens but also welcomes Nuu-chah-nulth workers from surrounding territories.

Orange Shirt Day: A Day of Remembrance and Healing

Orange Shirt Day is an annual event in Canada that carries profound significance in the journey towards reconciliation with Indigenous communities. It originated from the experiences of Phyllis Webstad, who, as a young Indigenous girl, had her brand new orange shirt taken from her on her first day at a residential school. This traumatic event left a lasting impact on her life and inspired the orange shirt as a symbol of the harm inflicted on Indigenous children and the need for healing.

Orange Shirt Day, observed on September 30th each year, serves as a reminder of the dark chapters in Canada’s history, particularly the residential school system. It is a day to honor survivors and their families while acknowledging the painful legacy of colonization. By wearing orange shirts, Canadians express their commitment to reconciliation and a brighter future for Indigenous communities.

Supporting Indigenous Communities in Tofino

When visiting Tofino, especially the Tin Wis Resort, tourists have a unique opportunity to contribute to the ongoing process of healing and reconciliation. Here are some meaningful ways to support Indigenous communities in Tofino:

  1. Stay at Indigenous-Owned Accommodations: Opt for accommodations like Tin Wis Resort and Tsawaak RV Resort, which are owned and operated by Indigenous communities. Your stay directly benefits the local economy and provides employment opportunities.
  2. Respect Cultural Protocols: Learn about the cultural protocols of the Indigenous communities in the area and respect them. This includes seeking permission before entering certain areas and understanding the significance of sacred sites.
  3. Participate in Cultural Experiences: Engage in cultural tours with Ahous Adventures, support Indigenous owned businesses like TBird EBikes, and attend events offered by Indigenous organizations. This not only enriches your experience but also supports the preservation of traditions and knowledge.
  4. Buy Indigenous Art and Crafts: Purchase authentic Indigenous art and crafts from local artisans. It’s a wonderful way to take home a piece of Indigenous culture and support Indigenous artists.
  5. Educate Yourself: Take the time to educate yourself about the history, culture, and issues facing Indigenous communities in the region. Awareness is the first step towards understanding and empathy.
  6. Support our Allies: Meet our Allies here. Every Ally here has agreed to support the Tribal Parks by collecting a 1% Ecosystem Service Fee on behalf of the First Nation.
  7. Take the ʔiisaak Pledge: We invite you to take the ʔiisaak pledge, carrying these words in your heart as you travel.

Tin Wis Resort in Tofino, British Columbia, stands as a powerful testament to the resilience and determination of Indigenous communities to reclaim their ancestral lands and heritage. This Orange Shirt Day, as we remember the dark history of residential schools in Canada, let us also celebrate the progress made in the journey towards reconciliation.

Supporting Indigenous communities when visiting Tofino is not just about experiencing natural beauty; it’s about embracing a shared history and working together for a more inclusive and equitable future. By choosing to stay at Indigenous-owned accommodations, respecting cultural protocols, and engaging with Indigenous culture, we can contribute to the healing process and help rewrite the narrative of tourism in Tofino. Tin Wis Resort serves as a shining example of how tourism can be a force for positive change, honoring the past while embracing the future.

Tin Wis is the ancestral home of Tla-o-qui-aht and has been stewarded by the people since time immemorial. To learn more about its history, please read, “Rough seas calming: Tin Wis, past, present, and future:

As you venture to the picturesque West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, you are stepping into the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations. Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Toquaht Nation, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, and Tla’amin Nation collectively call this breathtaking region home, and they are eager to share their rich culture and experiences with respectful travellers like you.

#IndigenouscoastBC is your exclusive invitation to immerse yourself in the beauty of these lands and to engage with the vibrant Indigenous tourism opportunities they offer. From campgrounds nestled amidst the ancient forests to hotels with stunning oceanfront views, your journey here promises to be nothing short of transformative.

Supporting Indigenous Businesses: Preserving Language and Culture

By choosing to explore Indigenous-owned businesses in these world-renowned destinations, you play a crucial role in supporting the preservation of language and culture deeply rooted in the land. The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have a profound connection to their territories, and through #IndigenousCoastBC, they extend an invitation to share their traditions, wisdom, and stories with travelers like you.

To fully grasp the beauty and significance of this land, we invite you to visit the #IndigenousCoastBC website hub, presented by our esteemed media partner, ZenSeekers. Here, you’ll discover a wealth of information about the remarkable experiences that await you on this journey of cultural immersion.

Kiixin Tours | Bamfield, BC

Discover the Unifying Spirit of #IndigenousCoastBC

As you embark on this extraordinary adventure, we encourage you to enjoy and share your experiences, joining the thousands of others who aspire to see a unified Canada. Becoming a traveler who supports the rise of the Indigenous creative class is more than just a journey; it’s a meaningful contribution to preserving language, culture, and lands for generations to come.

Exploring the Rich Tapestry of History

Through the #IndigenousCoastBC search, you’ll uncover a treasure trove of inspiration and education, linking us all together on a road trip that delves into history spanning thousands of millennia. As you venture from one First Nation’s territory to another, you’ll be mesmerized by the intertwined threads of tradition and innovation, shaping the vibrant tapestry of Nuu-chah-nulth culture.

Secret Beach Campground | Ucluelet, BC

Embark on Your Nuu-chah-nulth Adventure Today!

Are you ready to be enchanted by the captivating landscapes, ancient forests, and the warmth of Indigenous hospitality? The Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations await your arrival, eager to share the wonders of their homelands. Start planning your #IndigenousCoastBC adventure and embrace the opportunity to connect with nature, immerse yourself in the stories of the past, and forge unforgettable memories that will linger in your heart for a lifetime.

Join us as we celebrate the union of culture, land, and people in a journey that transcends time and boundaries. Together, let’s honor the Nuu-chah-nulth heritage and create a legacy of respect and appreciation for the land, its inhabitants, and the wonders of #IndigenousCoastBC.

Tsawaak RV Resort | Tofino, BC

Unleashing the Power of #IndigenousCoastBC

Welcome to #IndigenousCoastBC, where the power of the hashtag connects travellers like you with a community of like-minded individuals sharing their unique stories and experiences. Use this hashtag to share your own journey, capturing the essence of your encounters with the First Nations’ traditions, natural wonders, and heartwarming hospitality.

WATCH: Discover the Indigenous Coast of BC

Video Credits : Tristan Hinder-Hohlweg / ZenSeekers

On the site of this former village, the Nation-owned Tin Wis Resort offers guests a unique opportunity to travel and stay ethically, immersing themselves in the rich history and vibrant culture of this place. It’s time to embark on an Indigenous journey and become a part of something truly extraordinary.

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation warmly welcomes visitors who are seeking a special place to slow down, reconnect with nature, and show respect for the land and its people. When you choose to stay at the Tin Wis Resort, you are embarking on a journey that will enrich your soul, open your mind, and allow you to experience the profound stories that have shaped this incredible land. It’s an invitation to embrace Indigenous culture, support vital preservation efforts, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to be a part of something truly transformative.

Tla-o-qui-aht carving

For thousands of years, the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation has been hosting visitors, sharing their traditions, and offering a glimpse into their way of life. The Tin Wis Resort stands as a legacy, serving as a cultural bridge that connects past and present, but it is also an economic pillar that fuels the Tla-o-qui-aht’s future. “Proceeds from the operations of Tin Wis go towards our new longhouse, gymnasium, and much-needed youth-focused programs, leading to the survival of our culture and Tla-o-qui-aht language,” shares Saya Masso from Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks. By choosing to stay at the Tin Wis, you are not just enjoying a memorable vacation, but also contributing to the preservation and empowerment of the Tla-o-qui-aht community.

Staying at the Tin Wis Resort opens doors to Indigenous culture, providing you with a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic experiences while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Tofino’s paradise. It’s time to unlock the magic, support preservation efforts, and embark on a journey that will forever leave a mark on your soul. From Indigenous Art to exploring the surrounding nature and connecting with the land, every moment spent at the Tin Wis Resort is an opportunity for personal growth and transformation.

Tla-o-qui-aht drum

Supporting the Tla-o-qui-aht’s rise in Tofino’s visitor economy is both meaningful and effortless. By simply choosing to book your next stay in Tofino at the Tin Wis Resort, you become a vital part of the collective effort to preserve Indigenous culture, support sustainable practices, and empower the local community. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime as you immerse yourself in the beauty of Tla-o-qui-aht Lands. The adventure awaits!

The Tin Wis also champions the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Allies program in the accommodation sector. To learn more about the Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks Alliance and how you can make a difference, visit today.

As you plan your trip, keep in mind that the Tin Wis Bonus Card awaits you, offering exclusive benefits and unlocking a world of unforgettable experiences. Whether it’s exploring the pristine beaches, participating in cultural activities, or connecting with the local community, your journey at the Tin Wis Resort promises to be like no other.

Be sure to inquire about our Indigenous rates when making your reservation. The Tin Wis Resort proudly accepts status cards, making it even more accessible for everyone to experience the magic of this special place.

Looking for a job that breaks the mold of the traditional office? Look no further, because Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s magnificent Tin Wis Resort is hiring, offering you an office like no other. Imagine working in a stunning oceanfront setting, surrounded by the vibrant community of Tofino, British Columbia, on the breathtaking Vancouver Island.

Surfer in Tofino before work

At Tin Wis Resort, your office isn’t confined within four walls; it expands into the limitless expanse of the ocean. This isn’t your average “office job” – it’s an opportunity to connect with adventure, community, and an extraordinary lifestyle. If you’re ready to bring your smarts and professionalism to the table, the Tin Wis Resort team wants to talk to you.

Joining this remarkable team comes with incredible perks, starting with a surf pass that opens up endless opportunities to ride the waves. Just a three-minute stroll from the front desk, you’ll find yourself immersed in the power and beauty of the ocean, letting the rhythm of the surf fuel your soul. And did we mention that every room in this resort boasts a mesmerizing ocean view? Your workspace will be a daily reminder of the incredible environment that surrounds you.

Tin Wis Housekeeping Attendant in Tofino

But it doesn’t stop there. By working at Tin Wis Resort, you become an integral part of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation community, a rich heritage that spans thousands of years. You’ll experience a sense of belonging and purpose, knowing that your work is making a difference in supporting this ancient community’s presence in Tofino.

Alie Mancuso, a Tin Wis employee, understands the power of community. She finds meaning in her work by being part of something greater. “You are part of a community (working) for a greater cause,” she says. Imagine spending your days riding the waves, then transitioning seamlessly into work, where you contribute to the uplifting of the Tla-o-qui-aht presence in the community. It’s a fulfilling and transformative experience that uplifts you both on and off the waves.

Tin Wis Front Desk Guest Service Agent checking in a hotel guest.

Tin Wis Resort is hiring in various departments, from housekeeping and front desk to maintenance and landscaping. Share this incredible opportunity with your loved ones because, at Tin Wis, you’re not just joining a team – you’re becoming part of a family. Curtis Mason, a Tin Wis Employee, highlights the sense of unity among the staff. “We all lift each other up any way we can; co-workers at work but family outside of work. Those that come work here, they start out friends and they become family really quick.”

Besides the deep sense of purpose and belonging, the perks at Tin Wis are off the charts. As a team member, you’ll receive a surf pass, granting you access to the exhilarating world of surfing right outside your office. Tofino Paddle Surf, located on Mackenzie Beach in front of Tin Wis Resort, offers surf lessons that will have you shredding the waves with confidence.

Tin WIs staff member riding bike on beach to work.

Picture this: pick up your free board rental, head to the beach, conquer the waves with a smile on your face, drop off your board, and walk to work with a heart full of joy. It’s as simple as that.

Experience the indescribable spirit and vibrant atmosphere that fills the air at Tin Wis Resort. Where else can you ride the waves to work and feel a sense of belonging and purpose like no other? Your dream office awaits, and the ocean is calling your name.

Submit your application here

🌊👨‍💼 The Tin Wis Resort is hiring 🌴🏄‍♀️

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.


The prelude to a west coast winter storm builds like improvisational jazz: those first haunting blue notes of whistling wind, the percussive Pacific backbeat as ocean rewrites shoreline, that elusive frisson of electricity as you catch its cadence. There is a unique quality to the winter light here with the kaleidoscopic sky shaded from tangerine to indigo as a child’s kite soars above the beach, its fabric snapping like a riff. A pod of neoprene-armored surfers leapfrog waves just offshore, paddling out to play amidst the action, alongside SUPs and surf kayaks.

West coast winter paradise is the protected cove of MacKenzie Beach where the dramatic panorama of the Pacific is as ever-changing as its diurnal tides: from zero and even negative tides stretching the beach out to tidal pools in rocky outcroppings, to king tides racing back onshore, inviting wave play.

All only steps from your oceanfront suite at Indigenous-owned Tin Wis Resort in Tofino, BC, perched high above the dunes — the perfect vantage point for storm watching up close or from the comfort of your cozy suite.

Rain sashays in like a soft jazz brush across drums, releasing a petrichor potpourri: Cedar and Sitka rainforest, salty kelp, and freshwater rivulets. A wave of silvery sanderlings chases syncopated surf.

Further downshore, a family in colour-coordinated raingear splashes delightedly through puddles swinging their matching yellow and bright pink pails and shovels.

Tin Wis means “calm waters” in the Tla-o-qui-aht language and is the true name for this place. Once an ancestral village site, this long-stewarded oasis offers everything you need to reconnect with nature and breathe in rhythm with the ocean.

His-shuk-nish-tsa-waak. Everything is one. Everything is interconnected.

When winter skies clear, a rainbow arcs above the resort against the snow-capped Insular Mountain range in the distance.

You can choose both comfort and adventure, especially when you have the benefit of local knowledge. Tin Wis Resort’s staff can give you directions to Tofino’s best beach cruiser rentals (Tofino Bike Co), best Hot Chocolate Elixir (Chocolate Tofino) and favourite takeout options, while the homegrown pros at Tofino Paddle Surf onsite offer gear and guidance mere steps away from “Mack Beach” action. Or simply bundle up with a good book and curl up in a bright red Adirondack chair to watch the show.

Après storm or après surf, the resort’s hot tub offers a ringside seat for glowing winter sunsets and to reconnect with your own circadian rhythm. Extend your beach-time with a bonfire under the amphitheatre of the sky as sunset time-lapses into a zillion stars and a supermoon casts its milky wash across the sand while a barred owl calls from the rainforest.

Next morning, warm mist blankets the beach as a distant foghorn solos, spring teasing its melody.

Tin Wis Resort is within Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks which includes nearby co-managed Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Let its epic beaches and rainforest trails renew your sense of wonder and respect within this place the Nuu-chah-nulth call home.

Learn more about the history of Tin Wis:

-Erin Linn McMullan