Hiłt̕sist̕a’a̱m (The Copper Will Be Fixed), opening at the Comox Valley Art Gallery on Friday evening July 20, is the culmination of the vision of Cultural Carrier Nagezdi, Rob Everson, Hereditary Chief of the Gigalgam Walas Kwaguł. The exhibition features diverse work created by Indigenous artists and cultural carriers of the west coast. The work responds to the impact of the Potlatch Ban and its reinstatement on the lives, families, communities, art-making and cultural practices of the artists.

2018 marks the 67th year since the Canadian government’s Potlatch Ban was lifted, after it was imposed on First Nations for 67 years. Everson’s recognition that many Canadians do not understand the history of Indigenous peoples ignited an arts and cultural program that would powerfully engage the local community and fellow Canadians, both Indigenous and settler, with this history and its impact.  

This exhibition is part of the convergent program Potlatch 67–67: The Potlatch Ban – Then And Now, produced by the Kumugwe Cultural Society, led by Cultural Carrier Nagezdi, Rob Everson Hereditary Chief of the Gigalgam Walas Kwaguł and Guest Curator Lee Everson, in collaboration with the Comox Valley Art Gallery.

Duncan Avenue will be closed in front of CVAG for the opening ceremony, artist talks and reception that begin at 6pm on Friday. On Saturday, a day of Cultural Sharing related to the thematic of the exhibition will be held at the Kumugwe Bighouse. Tickets for this event are available at the IHos Gallery. Events are free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Visit http://www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com and https://potlatch6767.com for more information.

Denise Lawson