Nawalakw means “Supernatural” in Kwak’wala, the language spoken in Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw (MD) territory for many thousands of years. The societies mission is to assert Kwakwaka’wakw title for our communities through the creation and sustainable operation of health and wellness facilities in our territory.
The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw (MD) have origin stories that tie us to the territory which we have occupied for millenia. In recent centuries, since contact, our people have endured successive waves of traumatic disruptions that have threatened our very existence. However, at this moment in 2019, we stand looking both to our past and our future. Nawalakw Society will a catalyst with far reaching implications for the health of our communities and our territory.
K’odi Nelson, Executive Director
K’odi Nelson is the Executive Director of the Nawalakw Society and visionary of Nawalakw Lodge - a healing centre focused on language and culture resurgence that is supported by an ecotourism enterprise. K’odi was born in ʼYa̱lis (Alert Bay), BC in 1973. He is the son of Henry Nelson Jr. from the Musǥa̱’makw Dzawada̱’enux̱w (Four Tribes of Kingcome Inlet) and Elizabeth Dick from the ‘Mama̱liliḵa̱la (Village Island) Nation. K’odi is a renowned dancer who has mastered all the great dances of the Kwakwaka’wakw. He is a striving song keeper and conductor, a position bestowed on him for his love and passion for his culture. K̕odi has received many names during his life such as ‘Maxwiyalidzi ( ‘Giving Potlatches all over the World’) and Wawigustolagalitsugwi’lakw ‘No One is Able to Obtain what he has done’, to name a few. He is an accomplished artist and often designs traditional regalia on occasions for Potlatches and commissions. He is also a composer of traditional songs, a gift that is very rare in the present Kwakwaka’wakw world. K̕odi and Alisha Souch are the proud parents of their sons Dallas and Zayden, who are training to carry on their culture.
K’odi has worked with as the lead tour guide for indigenous owned Adventure Tour operator, Seawolf Adventures for the past 3 seasons and simultaneously has been the Kwakwakwa’wakw cultural leader and language teacher at the Gwa’sala Nakwaxda'xw school. He has also worked as a fisherman, a carpenter, and as a professional soccer player.