The Kumugwe Cultural Society was founded to honour our ancestors and uphold the traditions they preserved for us and our descendants. On July 13, 2023 our founding President, U’maga̱lis (“Princess-all-around”), Mary Everson, left this world to become one of those ancestors. She was not only our President, she was also mom, ada (grandma), nox̱sola (knowledgable one), and mentor. A beloved friend to our membership and the Comox Valley community we have shared with for years, Mary helped found the Upper Island Women of Native Ancestry, advised School District 71, and served on a number of boards and advisory committees including the Aboriginal Women’s Council of BC and Yukon, BC Native Court Workers, and the Courtenay Museum.
Born January 1, 1946, Mary attended potlatches and ceremony since childhood where she bore witness to the cultural resilience and revitalization of the Kwakwaka̱’wakw. She sat at the elbow of the Old People, including her parents Maggie Frank nee Wilson and Chief Andy Frank. She was the guiding hand of the Gigal’ga̱m ‘Walas Kwagu’ł. To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. We are all struggling to live around the void that the loss of Mary has left in our lives.
When a loved one goes on to be with the ancestors, it is Kwakwaka̱’wakw protocol to be still and take a step back from singing and dancing for a period of time. The Kumugwe Cultural Society and Kumugwe Dancers may be unavailable for events during this transition.
The purpose of the Kumugwe Cultural Society is to represent the K’omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw Peoples, assisting in cultural community endeavours that develop and promote culture.
Our dance group has performed for thousands of people over the years. We pride ourselves on building lasting relationships with non-profit and corporate groups alike. Our dancers are available for performances for your business or social events, large or small.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is an important day for all of us across Canada. This weekend, we’re celebrating in K’ómoks territory on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. This region is home to the Pentlatch, E’iksan, Sahtloot and Sasitla peoples.
The Project name says it all. The Kumugwe Cultural Society has wanted to host a language camp for several years and finally felt ready to make that happen. Two weekend-long camps plus monthly language primers. Participants in this project will be speaking together in their own household or bubble. Five families will undertake weekly and monthly goals to learn and practice Kwak̕wala while engaging with videos, online forums, interactive games, and home-based resources. Join our participant families as they deepen their knowledge and daily use of Kwak̕wala during these interesting times.
On September 26 2019, and again in September 2023, the Kumugwe Cultural Society distributed a message through the Comox Valley Record discussing Indigenous reconciliation in Canada. This message is meant to encourage respectful dialogue, to help break down misconceptions and promote meaningful social change.
The Law Foundation of British Columbia
Gigame’dzikas – Many Chiefs project.
School District #71 Indigenous Education