BC Geographical Names

Name Details:

Name: Bella Bella
Feature TypeClick here for a list of
Feature Types.
:
Community
StatusClick here for an explanation of Status.: Official
Relative Location: NE side of Campbell Island, in Bella Bella IR 1, Range 3 Coast Land District
Latitude-LongitudeClick here for an explanation of Position Type.: 52°09'43''N, 128°08'42''W at the approximate population centre of this feature.
DatumClick here for an explanation of Datum.: NAD83
NTS MapClick here for an explanation of NTS Map.: 103A/1
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Origin Notes and History:

New Bella Bella (settlement & steamer landing) adopted 4 September 1952 on 103A, located on the east side of Campbell Island. So-named to distinguish it from Old Bella Bella (settlement) on the west side of Denny Island. New Bella Bella (settlement) confirmed and Waglisla (Post Office) adopted 26 November 1974, referring to the same location. Dual or combination name :New Bella Bella (community) - Waglisla (Post Office)" adopted 15 December 1982. Name changed to Waglisla (community) 22 February 1991 on 103A/1, to reflect local usage, as advised by Band Manager and RCMP. Name changed back to Bella Bella (community), and Waglisla (Post Office) confirmed, 13 March 1995. BOTH names to be labelled on BC maps.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
There is no local use of "New" Bella Bella as labelled on maps (although "Old Bella Bella" is the established local name for the original community site on the northwest side of Denny Island). Waglisla subsequently chosen by Heiltsuk Band Council, as the name for the new post office - a Heiltsuk word meaning literally "River on the Beach". (31 October 1974 letter from Canada Post, BC District, Ottawa file 103A/1). By letter November 1990 (file M.2.68), Band Council advised that "Waglisla", originally created just for the post office, had become the common name for the community as well. By letter August 1993 (file M.2.68) Tribal Council Chairman Edwin Newman expressed concern that the ancient name Bella Bella should not be removed from maps and only the Post Office should be known as Waglisla.
Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office
The main site of Bella Bella Indian Village has migrated: originally located on islets off the northwest side of Denny Island, as labelled on Admiralty Chart 2449, 1869. By the early 1870's the main village site had been relocated to McLaughlin [sic] Bay on Campbell Island, near the HBC trading post, as labelled on Admiralty Chart 1901, 1872. By 1923 the village site had been relocated 1 mile northward to the site that became known as New Bella Bella. By 1923 a hospital, school, wharf, etc. were located here (BC Pilot, Vol II, 1923, p34).
Source: included with note