Katkwuuwis(Kutcous Point)

Kutcous Photo

Katkwuuis is known to be a historic summer village site, where Ahousahts would come to hunt for seal and halibut. On the west side, this site is highly exposed but relatively sheltered on the east, making for a unique mix of geographic features that include jagged rocks with rich intertidal life and conversely, sun hungry wildflowers and sedge grasses. This is one of few spots on the Wildside trail where sedge grasses can be found and it was traditionally used as a gathering site. Historically, this beautiful sandy beach was once the site of bloodshed during the 14-year war between the Otsosaht and the Ahousaht during the early 1800s (for more information click the “cultural history” link). From this south-facing finger, you can clearly see Cat-face range and Lone Cone mountain on Meares Island. If you are ever lost on Flores, all you need to do is locate the distinctive summit of Cat-face mountain and you will know which way is east. While this is an ideal location for eating or resting if it is a sunny day, be sure that if you decide to set up camp here your shelter is set well back on the eastern side so that it stays sheltered from the westerly winds. Boat pick-ups are possible along the rocks here, but only in calm conditions.

Activity: Shape Shifters

My teacher and mentor, Qaamina Sam, has taught me to look at things in the natural world with a unique perspective that enables them to reveal their beauty to you. A gifted carver, Qaamina creates his finest work from pieces of wood that would otherwise be burnt as firewood or discarded. On one occasion we were walking the Wildside trail with his two grandchildren, May’liah and Sun (who were five and three at the time), when he spotted a piece of wood that he wanted to carve into a seal. He kept talking about the seal wood throughout our walk and so on our way back when we returned to it I encouraged him to bring it home and carve it into a seal. He agreed to do this on the condition that I be the one who would carry the driftwood from the trail back to his house. Despite its heavy weight and awkward shape, I agreed to carry the driftwood because I love to see Qaamina’s masterful carving work. I set my mind on carrying the 60lbs seal wood the half an hour back to Qaamina’s house. After much discomfort and splintered shoulders, I triumphantly set the piece of wood down on his porch. After I set it down, Qaamina looked at it and said, “that’s strange”, “what’s strange?” I responded. “It doesn’t look like a seal anymore”, he replied with a trickster grin. This activity is inspired by him and intended to help channel new ways of looking at the natural world.

This activity requires painting material and sand paper. Ask each member of your group to find a piece of driftwood or a rock that speaks to them. Once everyone has selected their item, ask the group to come back and talk with them the idea that all natural things have a spirit, even those that are inanimate like rocks. Ask everyone to sit with their chosen object and use their eyes, hands and noses to listen to what the object has to tell them. After 10 minutes of using senses other than sound to listen, provide the painting material and sandpaper for each participant to help bring to life the spirit of their object that they connected with. With older kids or adults, you may chose to provide carving tools in addition to sand paper.

Kutcous LinkCultural History