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The U'mista Cultural Society

U'mista Totems

U'mista Totems

The mandate of the U'mista Cultural Society is to ensure the
survival of all aspects of the cultural heritage of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw.

The U'mista Cultural Society was incorporated under the British Columbia Societies Act on March 22, 1974. Since that time, it has worked towards fulfilling the mandate to ensure the survival of all aspects of cultural heritage of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw. To facilitate the accomplishment of this mandate, the Board of Directors, composed of any person who is an individual, family of honorary member and can trace ancestry to a member of any tribe of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, is responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring all policy. The Executive Director, hired by the Board of Directors, is responsible for developing and implementing strategies that achieve the ends and aims that the Board has identified. This comprises day to day operations, management of the Centre, and yearly budget development.

The staff of the society consists of one full time and three part time positions, including the Executive Director, with contract staff being hired for specific tasks. The full time staff ensures that all programming is achieved and the facility is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (please contact us for extended summer hours; Victoria Day to Labour Day).

One of the objectives of the Society was the development of a facility to carry out the aims of the society. The present facility was opened in November of 1980. The focus of the permanent collection is the "Potlatch Collection". The other permanent exhibits on display include description of the traditional ethnobiology of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw and origin stories of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw villages, as well as, historical and contemporary Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw objects. Traveling exhibits of significance to the community are also displayed.


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