Randy Frank and I are once again carving two new totem poles for the K’omoks First Nation. Two fourteen foot red cedar logs will be transformed into cultural markers signifying the unceded traditional territory of the K’omoks People since time immemorial. These two poles will be number seven and eight carved for the Nation in the past four years. I am humbled and proud of the immense pride our people take in ensuring that K’omoks continues to preserve our interest in the land and support our cultural practices.
Pole Raising in K’omoks
On Saturday, July 8, the K’omoks First Nation raised the totem pole that I completed in the Fall of 2016. As a Northwest Coast First Nations Artist, I’m proud to see indigenous art being embraced by my nation. It is important for me to demonstrate our K’omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw ancestry. This pole is a thunderbird – one of the crests of K’omoks – and guardian figure holding a grave box, which will stand watch over our ancestors.
My name is Karver Everson I was born in Comox, BC in 1993 and named Gayustistalas – a name that once belonged to my father, Chief Rob Everson and before him belonged to my great uncle Chief Bob Wilson, both of the Gigalgam Walas Kwakiutl. I think for many people it is hard to define where they come from,
I am fortunate enough to have a direct link that connects me to the first peoples of vancouver island. A link that is time immemorial, and runs deep through my veins. For me that rich Kwakwaka’wakw and K’omoks history is what inspires me to make the art i do.
When i grab a piece of western red cedar and start carving it no different than my ancestors did before me, it is something special. It connects me to a time in history that was once magical, and portrayed a pure connection to earth. Although my culture is still here and thriving, its existence is threatened by the rapidly changing world. Through my art i attempt to connect both the present with the past and further understand my place within time and cultural history. In doing so shining light on an ancient world that once was.
I have been blessed by the mentors in my life. Working under the tutelage of Kwakwaka’wakw master carvers Richard Hunt, Calvin Hunt and David Knox. My uncle, Andy Everson, has also taught me to understand multiple facets of Northwest Coast art including rules of formline and design. I am grateful to have these teachers in my life, as they have contributed so much to Kwakwaka’wakw and K’omoks culture.