Rising from the Ashes
In the early morning of August 29th, 1997 Alert Bay awoke to the news that our Big House (Gukwdzi) was on fire. Many people came from their homes to observe the devastating scene taking place.
While speculating how it could have happened, word spread that it was not an accident. Since that fateful day, Julio Castro Andino has been tried and convicted of arson. He is eligible for parole, but remains in prison.
The entire Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw community united to rebuild the Alert Bay Big House. In May of 1998 the carvers began recreating the house posts and support beams. Construction began on the Big House in August of 1998.
Like the younger generation, some of the most important events of my life occurred in our Gukwdzi. I remember all the old people from the different tribes, most of them gone now, who would come and assist in many different ways to make our ceremonies successful. I remember in the early days, most of the singers at the log drum were our old people and how the younger people slowly replaced them as they passed on.
Without the commitment of these young men to our culture, this would not be possible. I thank these young men, led by William Wasden Jr., on behalf of all the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw.
This CD was conceived out of the need to raise funds for the continued operating costs and maintenance of the Alert Bay Gukwdzi.
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