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Box of Treasures DVDs

Box of Treasures

By U'mista Cultural Society


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In Alert Bay, British Columbia, 1980 marked the opening of the U'mista Cultural Centre. This world class museum was created after years of struggles by the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw First Nations to bring home their sacred masks that were seized by the Canadian government after Dan Cranmer's potlatch on Village Island in 1921.

"We build the Cultural Centre to house the treasures returned to us by the Natural Museum of Man and it has become the focus for all our efforts to strengthen the cultural, language, and history that were almost destroyed by missionaries, governmnet agents, and others who tried to change us. This film is about the survival of the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw."

- Gloria Cranmer Webster

This film documents the political struggles of the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw First Nations of Alert Bay for the right to continue their traditions . It also celebrates the opening of the U'mista Cultural Centre and the community's ongoing efforts to pass on the knowledge of their culture and language from the Elders right through to adults and childern in school.

'Box of Treasures' is a good companion documentary to 'POTLATCH...a strict law bids us dance', which provides a more detailed history of the potlatch in Canada.

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