Shane Cook of Alert Bay performs during the grand opening of Sea Wolf Adventures cultural tours at Telegraph Cove Saturday. The First Nations business will provide tours and water taxi service to Alert Bay and Hanson Island out if its new Telegraph Cove office.

Sea Wolf to offer cultural adventure

Sea Wolf Adventures held a grand opening ceremony Saturday evening at Telegraph Cove.

TELEGRAPH COVE—A mix of tourists and summer residents were invited to take part in the latest attraction at this historic seaside resort Saturday.

And local First Nations band members provided a sneak preview.

Sea Wolf Adventures, a cultural tour and water taxi service offered beginning this month by Mike Willie, held a grand opening ceremony Saturday evening featuring drumming, singing and dancing by a multi-band assemblage ranging from Alert Bay and Fort Rupert children to ‘Namgis hereditary chief William “Wa” Wasden, who led the drum circle and served as de facto master of ceremonies.

“There’s a place called Yyalis — Alert Bay — 10 minutes ride from here, so you do not have to go far to explore history and culture,” Willie told an audience arrayed along the end of the boardwalk near the Whale Interpretive Centre. “You don’t have to fly to Egypt or anything. There’s culture here thousands of years old and we will have a lot to offer.”

Sea Wolf Adventures, which has an office right on the boardwalk of this popular summer destination, offers afternoon tours to both Alert Bay — featuring the U’Mista Cultural Centre — and the cultivated cedar gardens of Hanson Island. By morning, it provides water taxi service to Alert Bay to those who want to spend a half-day exploring Cormorant Island in unguided fashion.

Saturday’s grand opening featured a variety of historical Kwakwala’wakw dances and songs. Following speeches by Wasden and Willie, spectators were welcomed to take part in a social dance, and the vast majority jumped at the opportunity.

“There are no rules to how you have to dance,” Wasden told the crowd. “As long as you’re enjoying yourselves.”

Wasden introduced each dance by explaining the characters portrayed and the stories they represented. He also touched on the First Nations peoples’ ties to the region, sharing locations by their Kwak’wala names. Wasden also shared the darker period of Kwakwaka’wakw history, when the government outlawed the potlatch and confiscated historic masks and other items in the 1920s, and shared how his ancestors stood strong in the face of this act, going underground and risking jail to continue their tradition until the potlatch was restored and many of the potlatch items returned to the U’mista Cultural Centre.

The addition of Sea Wolf Adventures to Telegraph Cove’s attractions is the first specifically dedicated to First Nations cultural exploration and education.

“This will add not only to tourism and business on North Vancouver Island, but this is going to add to the experience of visitors by exposing them to the culture of people who have lived here for thousands of years,” said Gordie Graham, owner of the resort.

Willie, an educator at Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’wx School in Port Hardy, said his ultimate goal is to raise enough money to fund a language revitalization program.

“That’s the whole idea of this business,” he said. “I decided I had to think outside the box for a way to fund this kind of program.”

For information on the tours or water taxi service, call 250-928-WOLF or visit www.seawolfadventures.ca.

 

Just Posted

Rachel Blaney ‘humbled’ as NDP incumbent earns second term

Blaney will remain MP in North Island-Powell River riding

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

ELECTION 2019: Here are the results from our 12 B.C. races to watch

Incumbents mostly won our 12 key races, but there were a few upsets too

BREAKING: Canadian Press declares NDP’s Blaney winner in North Island-Powell River

Canadian Press is declaring NDP candidate Rachel Blaney as the winner in… Continue reading

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Faster response may have prevented fatal outcome at B.C. trampoline park

Coroner’s report rules Greater Victoria father Jay Greenwood’s death accidental

100-pound pumpkin stolen a second time from B.C. business

According to security footage, a man and woman took the pumpkin on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.

Greta Thunberg declines invitation to Victoria due to time, not ferry emissions

Thunberg confirmed that she will be joining a climate strike at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday

‘Havoc and chaos:’ Alberta separatist group gains support as Liberals re-elected

The idea is getting interest from people in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia

Feds decriminalizing drugs possible if Jagmeet Singh pushes for it, expert says

National pharmacare was one of Singh’s most highly-touted platform policies

In the news: Wexit, Brexit and Trump sparks outrage

There’s been a surge of support for an Alberta separatist group

Most Read