Our Story

Spirit Bear Lodge, is owned and operated by the Kitasoo Xai'xais First Nation, it has become a successful model for conservation-based eco-tourism.


Connect. Respect. Protect.


To create emotional connections between people, nature and wildlife that leads to transformative change and advances social, cultural, environmental and economic revitalization for the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation.

Over the last two decades, Spirit Bear Lodge has become known worldwide.  Employing roughly 10% of the community, the Lodge has diversified opportunities for employment in the community of Klemtu, particularly for youth. The Lodge has helped strengthen economic, conservation and culture in the community and Traditional Territory of the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation.

We went from a community largely dependant on resource extractive jobs to a community whose economy was largely based on conservation and non-extractive activities. - Doug Neasloss

The story of Spirit Bear Lodge is about more than just a successful ecotourism business, it is the story of the Kitasoo Xai’xais First Nation creating a conservation-focused, one-of-a-kind, sustainable business in one of the most remote places in Canada. The business helped attract researchers to the area and strengthen the protection of the Nation’s vast Territory.

There’s a magic that occurs at Spirit Bear Lodge when visitors connect with the Kitasoo Xai’xais People, the lands and waters of their Traditional Territory, and the magnificent wildlife that call it home. Our multi-day adventures build an understanding, respect, and connection to the heart of The Great Bear Rainforest and a culture that has roots as deep as the trees. This is more than just a vacation, it is a journey that will intertwine you with this special place, its story and its People who continue to protect it for future generations. Find yourself where a wild land meets a wild ocean.

One of the biggest benefits is that our People get paid to be themselves. They get paid to interpret who they are and where they're from and to share their Culture and their stories and the wildlife.

Community members pushed for Spirit Bear Lodge to be more than just a business and so it was.  Much of the lodge’s profits are reinvested in the community and local stewardship efforts.

One of the most meaningful impacts the Lodge has had in Klemtu is contributing to the revitalization of Kitasoo Xai’xais Culture.  Spirit Bear Lodge provides a safe platform to establish a connection with the land and assert Kitasoo Xai’xais stewardship of the region. The lodge also provides an opportunity for community members to take great pride in sharing Kitasoo Xai’xais Culture with visitors that come from around the world to learn.

Today Spirit Bear Lodge is a showcase community tourism business in The Great Bear Rainforest, and a recognized best practice model for Indigenous community-based tourism in Canada.

Coast Funds – Success of Spirit Bear Lodge

Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation

20th Anniversary

Spirit Bear Lodge Values

Respect: We demonstrate respect and appreciation for each other, nature, wildlife and our Culture. We share our culture, special places and traditions appropriately with visitors and invite visitors to respectfully engage with our People and Territory.

Pride: We take pride in our business and sharing our traditions, culture and ways of living with guests.

Ethical: We operate with transparency, accountability and honesty.

Protect: Our work supports the protection of the Kitasoo Xai’xais Culture, traditions and all aspects of their Traditional Territory’s natural environment.

Connection: We create emotional connections between people and nature, leading to transformative change.

Supportive: We foster a supportive work environment that builds the skills of our staff and community for Spirit Bear Lodge to become an Indigenous-led and managed organization.

Social enterprise: Our business practices are progressive, innovative and sustainable.

Community-first: The needs of our community and impacts of our actions on residents and the natural environment are considered first in everything we do.