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ʼWiʼlaʼmola Program

 

The ʼWiʼlaʼmola program is the business arm of the U'mista Cultural Society, a nonprofit organization with the mandate to represent the cultural values and property of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw First Nation (KFN). The ʼWiʼlaʼmola program serves both the KFN and the non-native population as a whole, with U'mista overseeing any cultural components of the business activity developments. The ʼWiʼlaʼmola program respectfully explores opportunities to use Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw culture to create employment, business development and economic benefits for the community. This initiative of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw First Nation is to nurture and steward the cultural heritage of the Kwakʼwala-speaking people through education of both visitors and the community, adopted into practice through the activities of the ʼWiʼlaʼmola program.

The ʼWiʼlaʼmola program operates as a not-for-profit society, under the direction of U'mista's Board of Directors, and will be appointing an independent management board comprised of First Nations members and business partners to direct operations. Individual business activities, undertaken directly or in partnership with external operators, will be conducted on a commercial-enterprise basis to ensure business sustainability. Any ʼWiʼlaʼmola direct revenues surplus to operations will be remitted to U'mista for use in cultural stewardship.

The core principal of ʼWiʼlaʼmola combines the authentic, internationally-recognized cultural expertise and First Nations heritage of U'mista, together with the successful experience of partner business operators, producing superior-quality cultural tourism products that meet the social and economic objectives of the First Nations, business operators, visitors, and community.

This initiative of the Kwakʼwala-speaking First Nations to nurture cultural renaissance and economic revival through tourism business joint ventures with experienced, ethical local operators has the support of ʼNa̱mǥis First Nations Government and the Kwakiutl Tribal Council, and broad support from the community.



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