A Look back at the 2nd Anniversary of the U'mista Cultural Centre

Looking back at the history of U'mista Cultural Society's progress over the decades serves to highlight the hard work and dedication that the U'mista Cultural Centre requires day in and day out. Here is an article in one of our newsletters dated: November of 1982.

It reads:


U'mista Cultural Centre Newsletter Cover November 1982


Our official opening was held on November 1, 1980 - a truly memorable day and a great beginning for us. Many of us still remember the joy, the sadness, but most of all, the tremendous feeling of pride we all felt that day.

During the past two years, we have accomplished many things we can be proud of, among them, the completion of our language book series, which stands as a model for other Indian groups across Canada, because no one had ever produced such material before. We will complete our second film soon, which will be as good, if not better than our first. Our yearly calendar is unique. The letters and articles which have been written about us demonstrate that visitors are very impressed with what we have to offer. Students, teachers, artists use our archives, library and collections for study, in increasing numbers.

So, how can we become even better in the future? Perhaps members should be reminded of the objects of the Society, as stated in our constitution:

a) to collect, preserve and display Native artifacts of cultural, artistic and historical value to the Kwagu'ł people (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw),

b) to promote and foster carving, dancing, ceremonials and other cultural and artistic activities engaged in by the Kwagu'ł people (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw),

c) to collect, record and make available information and records relating to the language and history of the Kwagu'l people for the use of the Kwagu'ł people (Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw)."


With new exhibits, new staff, and new programming, U'mista has been transformed again and again over the years. What has remained constant, as shared in the November 1982 Newsletter, is the profound feeling of pride of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw in their cultural Centre, and the steady march towards its expansive mission, both of which have remained cornerstones of U'mista operations ever since.