Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum - Exhibits
Clayoquot Heritage Museum West Coast Nest

Visit the Tofino Clayoquot Heritage Museum and discover their Tonquin exhibit!

Tonquin Exhibit

Tonquin is a familiar word in Tofino, though few know its origins. In the early 1800s many American and European ships came to Clayoquot Sound and other areas along the Western Pacific coast looking to trade with locals for sea otter pelts among other items. Sea otter pelts were especially sought after as a single pelt could be sold in Asia for as much as most sailors would see in a year of wages. The ƛaʔuukʷiaʔtḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) were especially renowned for their skills at both hunting and trading. The price for pelts was known all along the coast. When Captain Thorn sailed into the sound the Tla-o-qui-aht were willing to trade for the known price, but Thorn was not interested in that. Instead, a fight broke out on the deck of the Tonquin that ultimately led to it exploding.


Hours: The museum hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00 AM – 5 PM

Admission: Admission to the museum is by donation. Any amount is welcome! They accept cash donations as well as credit or debit payments.


February 2024

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