U’mista Covid-19 Update


As we prepare for what would be the start of our tourism season, we would like to first encourage our visitors and guests to stay in the “know” of what is happening locally, regionally, and provincially.

Locally, the 'Namgis First Nation, Village of Alert Bay, and Whe-La-La-U Area Council Society created a public notice to restrictive protocols taking place on Cormorant Island, and have encouraged those visiting Cormorant Island to follow appropriate health orders to stay safe and to keep others safe. For any further information, please contact the Alert Bay Visitor Centre at info@alertbay.ca or 250-974-5024. 

Regionally, Tourism Vancouver Island has been stating on their social media platforms to “please stay in your community until it’s safe to travel again; now is not the time for inter-community travel. We look forward to welcoming all visitors to Vancouver Island when the time is right.” 

Provincially, Destination British Columbia (Hello BC) has been encouraging that all non-essential travel into, out of, and around BC should be avoided at the moment, until Dr. Bonnie Henry states otherwise. 

In the words of Dr. Bonnie Henry, “be kind, be calm, and be safe” or in Kwak̓wala “Ikla, salta, dłu' yet̓łołala”.

We would like to end with some words from one of our respected Elders, ‘Maxw’mawidzamga Stella Beans, “O’mas saldił laxous gukw’xous x̱a̱ns ik̓a̱’ki’lants gotła yaxsam tso’ku’lam” meaning “Stay in your home. Let’s take good care of ourselves, there is a bad sickness out”.

Here are some Kwakwala words and phrases that you can learn during COVID-19:

  • Ikla – be nice/kind
  • Salta – silent/quiet/calm
  • A̱'ek̓aḵila – take care, look after yourself
  • yet̓łołala – be careful, be safe

You can support U'mista Cultural Society by ordering from our online Gift Shop or by making a DonationGilakas’la!

Below are links that are updated frequently. Please visit these sites before planning your next trip to come and visit us. Stay safe!


The U'mista Team



Photo: Sydney Roberts (@languageweaver)