site visits start at Native Sons Hall, 5:15pm
performance/storytelling (location TBA)
Andy Everson is a K’omoks visual artist, dancer and cultural educator. Traditional K’ómoks place-names told stories about the land and people – bringing to light their challenges, cultural values, and celebrated accomplishments. Everson is currently engaged in a research project that uncovers and recognizes these place-names – bringing them into a larger conversation about space and territory, and highlighting past relationships held by the K’ómoks people with this territory. Everson will reveal his findings from this research in a co-presentation with Karver Everson, who will speak about his totem pole reclamation project. Together, these two projects demonstrate a concerted effort being made by members of the K’ómoks nation to better understand the historical significance of their traditional territory, and to communicate this significance to a wider audience.
RECLAMATION POLES: K’OMOKS FIRST NATION
site installation (Goose Spit + Puntledge campground)
Karver Everson is a K’omoks and Kwakwakawakw carver and visual/performance artist. In 2014 the Komoks First Nation created an opportunity for local K’omoks First Nations artists to invigorate the connection between cultural practice of ceremony and carving totem poles through the creation of two totem poles every year for the next ten years that will cumulatively map the expansive territory that the K’omoks First Nation once inhabited and still inhabits today. The poles are intended as a form of reclamation of cultural identity, land, Aboriginal rights and title. Re-establishing the K’omoks First Nation’s cultural identity through visual signifiers, the poles call for change, with every installed work forming part of the story that reveals evolving power dynamics as played out on the land. The first two poles created by K’omoks artists Karver Everson and Randy Frank, mentored by master carver Calvin Hunt, depict a satiated figure holding his/her belly, expressing a sense of abundance and a sense that there is enough for everyone. One of these poles is installed on the edge of a military training facility next to a sign that states “no trespassing,” in an area that was once a sacred burial ground for high ranking First Nations people. Karver plans to create two more poles this summer that will mark the furthest points of the territory. In addition to the project taking place at an outdoor publicly accessible site situated on a busy through road on the K’omoks reserve, documentation of the site works will comprise part of the exhibition MAP. Karver will participate, as well, in the Mapping Sacred Space panel.