Petr Javier Jr. is a student at UBC. He was already developing online games in Kwak’wala when a chance encounter with K’odi while walking on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver revealed their shared passion for language and culture. A few years later and following a lot of development work on the Nawalakw project, K’odi remembered that meeting and the rest is history.
Petr and Sydney Roberts are studying under the direction of Dr. Daisy Rosenblum, who has “dedicated her works with speakers of Kwak’wala to record narrative, conversation, and other types of spontaneous speech for today’s and tomorrow’s learners and teachers of the language.”
Matt Ambers shares a love for singing and storytelling, and has spent the last 6 years studying both. From an early age, he began singing at numerous Potlatches and has spent years learning Kwak’wala, largely from his mother, grandmother, and great grandmother as well as the late Dr. Trish Rosborough, Stella Beans, and William Wasden Jr.
Gloria Hunt, traditional name K’wak’wabalas, is in her 5th and final year pursuing a Bachelor of Education at VIU, and has deep experience facilitating traditional weaving workshops and other events where she shares language and culture with participants ranging in ages from 4-80.
Kiara Peterson or Taayisim, meaning ‘Believes with her whole heart, and holding up the creator’ is also pursuing a degree in Education and hopes to build a career working with younger kids.
Each apprentice is paired with dedicated elder mentors, who are supported with technology through a grant from the federal government, providing internet access for virtual meetings and to help capture their vast knowledge. Together, these apprentices are preparing to become language masters, so they can teach the next group of apprentices, and are co-developing the program that will run at the Nawalakw Culture Camp at Hada.