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January 11 2023

Revitalising Kwak’wala language and culture

The Nawalakw Culture Project is a recently founded sustainable social enterprise owned and operated by the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations of British Columbia. Nawalakw’s unique vision is to revitalise the Kwak’wala language and Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw culture to support Indigenous healing while providing invaluable economic opportunities to the surrounding communities. Situated on the banks of the Hada River estuary in the ethereal Great Bear Rainforest, the facilities will serve as an eco-tourism lodge during summer months which will fund healing programs as well as classes in Kwak’wala and other aspects of Kwakwaka’wakw culture throughout the remainder of the year. In addition, the presence of the Nawalakw lays claim to traditional Kwakwaka’wakw Territory, supporting the environmental stewardship of the land to protect the unique biodiversity of the area.  

Nawalakw will grow in three stages. Following the official opening ceremony of the healing center in July 2022, phase two will see the site extended to include an ecotourism resort, while phase three will add artist residencies, a gallery, and retail space showcasing local artists. The model is intended to form a precedent for similar reconciliation projects across Canada and the United States.

Donald Ellis Gallery is proud to aid the Nawalakw Healing Center in its three-stage development. To support Nawalakw, please consider donating directly to the Nawalakw Culture Project.

To learn more about the project please visit


Revitalising Kwak’wala language and culture