U'mista Cultural Centre is one of the longest-operating and most successful First Nations cultural facilities in BC, founded in 1980 as a ground breaking project to house potlatch artifacts which had been seized by government during an earlier period of cultural repression. The return of the potlatch artifacts not only provided U'mista's name ('the return of something important'), and sparked a general trend toward repatriation of First Nations and cultural artifacts, it caused the creation of a physical facility and human resources infrastructure which have been successfully operated for over two decades. U'mista now operates a modern museum and cultural education facility in Alert Bay. Their operations include the museum, an extensive art gallery and gift shop, group tours, and presentations by dance troupes. The facility hosts international scholars, and supports researchers in a range of disciplines.
The centre is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (extended summer hours; Victoria Day to Labour Day, open seven days a week, 9am to 5pm).
The Cedar tree is our Tree of Life. Cedar masks are carved from dead-downed cedar trees by highly recognized artists of the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations of Northern Vancouver Island. Cedar bark is harversted for culturally specific objects used for ceremonial purposes and basketry. Hemlock, cedar and spruce boughs are used in specific ceremonies. Eco-tours of the Traditional Kwakwaka'wakw forested territories can be arranged by contacting the U'mista at telephone 250-974-5403 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Untamed Feast invites you to experience the world of gourmet, wild mushrooms. Every spring and fall we hand harvest the finest wild mushrooms from pristine BC forests. Our mushrooms are dried on site, the same day they are harvested, to concentrate their flavours. The result is a superior line of dried, wild mushrooms and wild mushroom products. We work with many top restaurants and local food enthusiasts to spread the pleasures of good, healthy, slow food. You can find our retail packages, with recipes included, at select outlets in BC and online. Go to www.untamedfeast.com to learn more, or visit www.youtube.com/untamedfeast for harvesting videos.