Na̲nwak̲olas Council Develops Cultural Cedar Strategy

Randy Frank, a master carver and Guardian Watchmen for K’ómoks First Nation speaks about the importance of monumental cedars, in a video produced by Hakai Magazine. Photo via Hakai Magazine.

Na̲nwak̲olas Council member Nations have developed a strategy to protect the largest and most culturally significant cedars in their territories. The work of the Council was featured in a recent video and article by Hakai Magazine.

The video showcases the importance of monumental cedars to First Nations communities along the coast. “Cedar is what connects us all, up and down the coast of British Columbia,” says Na̲nwak̲olas Council President Dallas Smith in the short video. “There’s three or four different language groups but we all have cultural cedar ceremonies that start our traditional ceremonies. That’s really a tie that binds us.”

Cedar is what connects us all, up and down the coast of British Columbia…That’s really a tie that binds us.

The article states, “There are few giant cedars left on Vancouver Island and the first step in saving them—and revitalizing an ancient relationship—is finding them.”

Na̲nwak̲olas Council is doing just that. The Council’s Large Cultural Cedar Project involved consulting with carvers from its member Nations to provide training materials to Na̲nwak̲olas surveyors that would help identify monumental cedars throughout the territories.

Carvers like K’ómoks First Nation’s Randy Frank are using the monumental cedars to create Guardian poles to be raised throughout their territory.

Read the original Hakai Magazine article, and watch the video shot by Grant Callegari, and edited and produced by Katrina Pyne.