"Alert Bay, Cormorant Island, Broughton Strait. After H.M. screw corvette Alert, 17 guns, . . . named by Captain Richards, H.M.S. Plumper, in 1860."
"The town is built on a strip of land above the beach--a single street with a long and tenuous water-front, facing the sea, and brushing the fringe of the forest."
Phillips Wet Paint, n.d.:98
" 'Yalis means 'sitting on the beach with legs spread apart', because that is the shape of the beach. The 'Namgis moved here from the old village across the way to work in Spencer and Huson's saltery. That was about a hundred years ago."
Chief Tommy Hunt, Kwagu'
l tribe. Macnair, personal communication, Alert Bay 1975
Platforms built on stilts over the high tide mark were used in Kwakwaka'wakw villages for informal conversation and activity in pleasant weather. At times, small potlatches were hosted on the decks, and guests arriving in canoes were often welcomed by hosts with songs and speeches from this elevated position.
"The Kwakwala word for these platforms is awagwas which translates as 'summer seats'. The root of the word is 'sitting in the sun'; the suffix indicates the place where you do this, hence 'awagwas'. Primarily they were informal gathering places."
Gloria Cranmer Webster, 'Namgis tribe, Alert Bay 1999
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