Nawalakw Culture Project

The Nawalakw Vision from Nawalakw on Vimeo.

Envisioned as a dual-purpose, world-class eco-tourism lodge on the Hada River estuary operating in summer, the project will deliver traditional healing programs and teachings in all aspects of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw  language and culture for the balance of the year, largely sustained by profits from the Nawalakw Lodge and Healing Village to fund the regenerative programming.

This multi-phase project will create presence and environmental stewardship in traditional territory and create a restorative presence of great joy and continued pride.

Nawalakw and related businesses will employ over 100 people from local villages and the surrounding Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw territory, while protecting the biodiversity of this sacred place, and ensuring its legacy lives on in our children and children yet unborn.

In the next decade Nawalakw will:

  • Deliver more than 300,000 hours of language and cultural programming to our youth
  • Provide over 200,000 hours of wellness programming to our larger indigenous community
  • Provide the hub for a Guardian program which will protect our salmon, whales, and bears
  • Employee up to 100 people each year in full or part-time work
  • Protect the fragile ecosystem of Salmon and Grizzly bears in the Hada River estuary

The fuel to support this sustainable revitalized ecosystem, is a world class eco-tourism resort. The 9 room Nawalakw Lodge, will operate from June until September, while operating as a wellness programming centre for the remainder of the year. The Lodge will offer the experience of an insider’s view to our traditions through the eyes of our elders, and a contemporary and one-of-a-kind culinary experience rooted in our local and ancient harvesting techniques. After its 3rd year of operation the ecotourism business will generate more than $800,000 in contribution, enough to sustain the wellness..for the next century.

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Deyen is the Tsilhqot’in word for “person with the power to transform.”  It is believed by some Tsilhqot’in Knowledge Keepers that everyone is a Deyen. It is just a matter of taking the time and space to explore and uncover the Deyen inside of you. Traditionally in the Tsilhqot’in communities, Deyens were seen as wise and powerful people.  They were consulted with some of the community’s most complex matters and were able to “transform” the situation to something positive.  Deyen’s also traditionally had the power to transform their own shape. For example, a Deyen will transform themselves from human form to a raven to allow them to fly out of danger if needed.

This one-of-a-kind, unique, online learning hub shares the traditional knowledge, wisdom, worldviews, and lived experiences of Indigenous women on the lands often referred to as Canada.  The decision was made to call the learning hub Deyen to invite Canadians to look inside themselves and uncover their own powers (or Deyen) to provide a pathway through the guidance of Indigenous women, the original Matriarchs and Knowledge Keepers of these lands, and to transform perceptions, thought-processes, and assumptions about Indigenous Peoples.  

It is a courageous journey to reclaim your Deyen and transform deeply entrenched values, thoughts, and beliefs that have existed for generations and continue to be perpetuated by the dominant narrative. One of the most powerful things an individual can do in life is to uncover their Deyen and accept the invitation to transform.  When this happens, the opportunity for better relationships to exist is heightened. When we improve our relationships with ourselves and each other the outcomes of social justice, equity, improved mutual respect, and unity has a greater possibility of being achieved. Find the Deyen within you and allow the transformation to happen!


● Launch event attended by over 700 participants on Zoom.

● Within 90 minutes of the course launch, the first cohort was SOLD OUT.

● Business has allowed this solopreneur to scale, grow and build a supportive team all in the sprit of reconciliation and collaboration while freeing up her time to work on other projects and enjoy her life.

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