Project Title:

Nawalakw Education and Demonstration Farm Improvement

Project Organization:

Nawalakw Healing Society

Project Investment:

  • Island Coastal Economic Trust: $25,000
  • 4VI: $25,000
  • Applicant Equity: $19,960
  • Total Budget: $69,960

Project Highlight:

Nawalakw means “Supernatural” in Kwak'wala, part of the Wakashan language family and spoken by 15 First Nations in B.C.

In response to the loss of food security during the COVID-19 pandemic, this project, led by the Nawalakw Healing Society, will build on a 2.5-acre farm created by Nawalakw with the ‘Namgis First Nation and the Village of Alert Bay in 2019. The overall goal of the farm improvement project is to create a welcoming, respectful, walkable, safe, healthy, and engaging public space for everyone. 

Improvements to the farm include creating a public bathroom with running hot water, installing a gathering space infrastructure and a washing station for farm produce, improving the trails, implementing site and garden/veggie bed orientation, adding barrel composters, and including educational signage in Kwak’wala. 

There are currently two greenhouses at the farm for annual seeding and growing, along with nearly 200 different fruit trees or bushes to ensure a legacy of fresh fruits and berries. The farm was initially made possible through the donation of two lots by the ‘Namgis First Nation, plus an earthwork to clear the land and topsoil to get the farm started. 

Island Coastal Economic Trust funded this project on 2023 through the Community Placemaking program.