Gawalapa is an annual weekend wellness gathering hosted by the Sanala Health and Culture Research Group in Alert Bay.
This event has been hosted by the Sanala Research Group for the past five years, and is a celebration of health, wellbeing, culture, language and community for the ‘Namgis people.
This past year it was held over the weekend of June 3rd, starting on the Friday with a welcoming event at the Big House, which included a showcase of the traditional button blankets that community members had made over the last year as part of a Sanala-funded cultural wellbeing project and drumming and singing by ‘Namgis children and youth.
Saturday and Sunday continued with a diverse option of healing modalities and activities, including but not limited to a culture walk along the oceanfront, reflexology, acupuncture, massage, cedar brushings, ‘Namgis art workshops, and a visit to the U’Mista Cultural Society to view the repatriated potlatch collection.
Participants were invited to share healthy and delicious meals together throughout the weekend, including salmon cooked on a cedar fire.
Gawalapa is the Kwak’wala word for working together, and provides a space for people to come together to share food, experiences, and participate in different healing modalities. Gawalapa is free and open to the public.
The Sanala Team includes Barbara Cranmer, Vera Cranmer, Trevor Isaac, Helen Brown and Kelsey Timler.