Everson earning Diamond Jubilee Award for recognzing aboriginal veterans

Well-known Kómoks First Nation member Andy Everson will receive a Queen Elizabeth II Royal Diamond Jubilee medal on Aug. 10.

ANDY EVERSON was nominated for a Queen Elizabeth II Royal Diamond Jubilee medal by BC Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association after he gave it the rights to this piece called Remembrance

ANDY EVERSON was nominated for a Queen Elizabeth II Royal Diamond Jubilee medal by BC Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association after he gave it the rights to this piece called Remembrance

Well-known Kómoks First Nation member Andy Everson will receive a Queen Elizabeth II Royal Diamond Jubilee medal on Aug. 10.

The 49-year-old, a local artist, singer and dancer among other things, received a phone call from the BC Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association — which nominated him for the medal — just weeks ago.

“When I found out I was actually really surprised because — (laughs) I didn’t expect it at all, it was definitely a big surprise,” recalled Everson, adding his first thoughts were of family members. “What I thought of immediately was my grandparents because in the past they had been awarded different medals like this… if they were still around it would have been a really big deal (to them).

“It’s kind of like I’m just continuing on what they were doing, and so it was a validation in that regard.”

Everson noted he was nominated because of one of his pieces of art.

He created Remembrance in 2005 in recognition of Canada’s Year of the Veteran. The giclée print is a stylized poppy design made up of four thunderbirds.

“I really wanted to, through that piece, raise awareness to the contributions of aboriginal veterans in Canada and the way that aboriginal veterans were historically treated upon returning from war and… the difficulties that they faced most other Canadian veterans didn’t face coming back,” explained Everson, adding he offered the rights to the design to the BC Aboriginal Veterans and Serving Members Association.

“I thought that recognizing the aboriginal veterans is an important thing, and for an association like that they’re able to — they do that continually, so I thought that the design could be best used by them.”

Although Everson said he was chosen for the medal because of Remembrance, he has also been an active community member, and has worked to uphold the traditions of the K’ómoks and Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw First Nations through much of what he’s done in his life.

He sings traditional songs and performs ceremonial dances at potlatches, as well as with a number of different dance groups like the well-known local K’umugwe Dancers, and the Victoria-based Le-La-La Dancers.

In fact, he went to Taiwan with the Le-La-La Dancers to share his culture last summer.

He obtained a Master’s degree in anthropology, which he uses to research his heritage and traditions. This degree also inspired him to create Copper Canoe Inc. through which he created multimedia aboriginal language CDs.

At a young age, Everson started drawing Northwest Coast art, and his first serious attempt was in 1990 when he designed and painted chilkat-style blankets for use in potlatch dancing.

Since then, he has created numerous pieces which are in galleries all over B.C. and even in the U.S.

Everson will receive the medal during a ceremony at the K’ómoks Big House on Aug. 10.

A modest Everson noted he’s pleased to be chosen for the medal, but is still getting used to accepting recognition for his work in the community.

“In some ways you feel like you do (deserve it), and other ways, you know, I can think of so many other people that are equally deserving,” said Everson. “You take these kinds of recognition of your contributions, you take it to heart and you accept it, and you just have to learn how to accept these types of things.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from Comox ferry staff

After Dasher made a dash, ferry staff found her and got her home safe

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A fawn stands in a field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
MARS hoping to build fawn complex for rehab

Their goal is to raise $20,000 in a relatively short period of time.

Aspen Park in Comox is the latest school reporting a COVID-19 exposure. Screenshot, Google Maps
Fifth Comox Valley school reports COVID-19 exposure

Exposure at Aspen Park in Comox was reported for Feb. 22

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Photo: Lt. Sandy Pridmore, MARS Darlene Banerd, MARS, Warren Warttig and Captain Rob Stevens show the new automatic external defibrillator (AED) that will be located at the MARS facilities located at 1331 William Beach Road, Black Creek. Photo supplied
Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society adds AED to Williams Beach Road location

Submitted Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) has collaborated with the Comox Firefighters… Continue reading

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Most Read