The Hesquiaht (pronounced Hesh-kwit or Hes-kwee-at) is one of five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations based on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
Prior to the 19th century, the Hesquiaht were a congregation of five small nations living around Hesquiaht Harbour, with a total population of about 6,000 to 10,000 individuals. Each nation was governed by their respective Ha’wiih (hereditary) system. After the smallpox epidemic, the communities moved to one site at Hesquiaht Village, before being moved by Indian Affairs to the current site at Hot Springs Cove. The Hot Springs Cove reserve is located on territory claimed by the Ahousaht First Nation.
The Ha’wiih system is still alive and well in Hesquiaht.
Excerpted from Wikipedia’s article on the Hesquiaht People