About The Cultural Centre
The Nuyumbalees Society's objectives are:
• To collect, preserve and display Native artifacts of cultural, artistic and historic value to the Kwakwaka’wakw people.
• To promote and foster carving, dancing ceremonials and other cultural and artistic activities engaged in the Kwakwaka’wakw people.
• To collect, record and make available information and records relating to the language and history of the Kwakwaka’wakw people.
• To recover from other institutions and individuals, artifacts and records of cultural, artistic and historical value to the Kwakwaka’wakw people.
Cultural Preservation and Revitalization
The cultural preservation work of the Nuyumbalees Society has been on-going since the Society's inception in 1975. The work has involved working towards the return of artifacts (kikasuw) to the community, recording and archiving artifacts and maintaining the records and documentation for artifacts, ensuring the preservation of artifacts, developing story lines and story boards for display cases, building display cases, mounting artifacts for display, translating the stories and writings to document the history of the Kwakwaka’wakw People. Staff training and education has also been done on an on-going basis to ensure that training and education are up to date.
Major renovations have been undertaken to maintain the standards for climate control and humidity control, proper lighting for the preservation and protection of the artifacts, purchase of new display cases, and other structural renovations.
Collections Management activities have been on-going since the return of artifacts from the 'Potlatch Collection' in 1979. Exhibits training, conservation training and curatorial activities have also been undertaken by the board of directors and staff members.
Cultural Education and Revitalization Programs
The Executive Director conducts research activities to plan program activities for the year, provides guided tours through the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre and Ah-Wah-Qwa-Dzas and Kwik Kwik Gillas Cultural Education Centre. The Executive Director works with the Cultural Specialists, Elders and community members to plan and coordinate culturally appropriate activities that are in harmony with the goals and objectives of the Society and that support the preservation revitalization of the language, culture, history and traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw People.
A variety of cultural education programs are undertaken annually to preserve, protect and revitalize the language, culture and history of the Kwakwaka’wakw People.
Activities for Schools:
Students who visit as part of a school activity make rubbings of a petroglyph cast, hear local legends in storytelling and then enjoy a guided tour through the Cultural Centre and learn about the artifacts on display. A highlight is a visit to the House of Eagles to try on a button blanket and masks, and have a picture taken.
Carving and Educational Centre
The Carving and Educational Centre is open for artists and carvers to work and develop their craft, share knowledge and exchange ideas. This provides an opportunity for the public who attend the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre to observe artists at work. Visitors can learn directly from the artist about the process, the tools they use, the history of each piece, carving or painting and designs, along with the any stories that the artists are willing to share, as they relate to each piece being worked on at the time.
Story boards for the exhibits and signs in the building are in both English and Kwakwala, signage. Efforts to preserve the language are also an integral part of the Society's activities.
Archival Footage in the Lower Gallery Theatre
Archival footage has always been available for the public to watch in the lower gallery of the Cultural Centre. Archival reels and videos provide an excellent educational tool for visitors to learn about the culture, language and history of the Kwakwaka’wakw people.
The Ah-Wah-Qwa-Dzas (a place to relax and tell stories) is beautifully designed with totems designed and carved by local artists, with a fire pit in the centre for traditional salmon BBQ demonstrations. It is a beautiful setting in which to share the language, culture and traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw People.