U'mista Cultural Centre
U'mista Cultural Centre
5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
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.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles238 reviews
Excellent
195
Very good
34
Average
7
Poor
1
Terrible
1

mezaco
Canada458 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Lovely indigenous museum on Alert Bay, very interesting history of the community, great artifacts, photos and very interesting videos. Definitely a must-see if you are on the island. The only slight disappointment (and surprise) was that most items in the gift shop were rather generic "Made In China" items that I saw in other places around BC. I expected to find more authentic locally made and sourced products specific to that community.
Written January 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeorgeRufus
Chilliwack, Canada17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The cultural centre was a unique educational experience. It gave us a glimpse of First Nation's history and there are ancient and modern artifacts. The gift shop has distinctive First Nations items at reasonable costs. Very informative for all ages.
Written September 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carli M
Canada400 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Well done cultural centre with some beautiful exhibits and some great information. I will say that I'm a big nerd and would have prefered more... facts lets call them. Stories are interested by I also like to see statistics etc. I would have liked to see how much they haven't yet recovered and if they know who has it, etc etc.
You can spend as much of your time here as you want, just depends on your interest. We did at least 1.5 hrs but some people moved through a lot faster than us too.
Like someone previously stated, they do have a great gift shop too :)
Written September 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ciao chow
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Do not visit alert bay without a trip to the cultural centre. Wonderful displays in a user friendly atmosphere. The long house room and video really put you in the centre of a potlatch situation. Many masks and native Indian artifacts are all well documented in an interesting format. The gift shop has a large assortment of First Nations souvenirs. A good way to support the community. Within walking distance to the largest totem pole. This is a must see attraction!
Written September 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Iwannagetoff
Victoria, Canada60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
In order to have reconciliation, we must understand the others' point of view. This cultural center does this beautifully! (Turn left when leaving the ferry and go to the end of the road.) Feel the spirit of the potlach and its message of GIVING. How could European invaders think that there was danger or evil that? Watch for the door that is from the residential school and the pictures to the left. More pictures are available in a book on a table in the adjoining room. I asked one resident of the town what she wanted most in this time of "Truth and Reconciliation". She responded "Respect, on both sides". Take time to learn about the other side in this centre and respect their contributions to this area.
Written July 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AnnaMacKay
Toronto, Canada37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Friends
What a wonderful cultural centre. Displays are so good, love the story telling way of telling the history. The potlach collection is stunning. The gift shop!!! Amazing art work for very reasonable cost.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annick K.
Toronto, Canada7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
A beautiful and humbling experience walking through and learning about Namgis history, resilience through colonization and occupation, and the beauty and richness of the community. admission was a small price to pay for all that was shared with us. Thank you.
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Penny R
Chemainus, Canada9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
We took in this wonderful museum for several hours over two days. There is a lot of history to learn and a lot to see and read about. U'mista displays potlach items which were repatriated after being confiscated from the indigenous people of the area in past times. The stories behind the exhibits are informative, pertinent, and very important for us all to be aware of. The gift shop is lovely and they have a lot of beautiful items for purchase.
Written August 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

William C
Campbell River, Canada289 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
An absolutely stunning display of ceremonial/potlatch regalia. Lots of stories and historical documents to read and ponder over including a history of St Michaels residential school. An absolute must see for anyone interested in First Nations history!!!!
Written April 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Angie H
Vancouver, Canada81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Family
Given recent discoveries at Residential Schools, this was a good learning of the history related to Canada's treatment of indigenous peoples. Also a great display of their art and culture. Good for young kids too.
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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U'mista Cultural Centre - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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