ḥaa'yuups Ron Hamilton

Last changed on Wed, 12/31/1969 - 16:00


ḥaa'yuups was born at Ahaswinis, north of Port Alberni, at the head of Barkley Sound, on February 11, 1948. He is a member of the Huupachesat-ḥ First Nation of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. He is a proud father of 4 sons; Jacob, Johnson, Simon and Alvin. ḥaa'yuups resides at Emin, his home community, where he holds a hereditary seat and willingly serves and supports his community, family and friends in the capacity needed. This includes but is not limited to being a traditional protocol consultant and a practicing traditional ritualist for the last forty-eight years. He is a highly skilled researcher, interviewer, and public speaker. ḥaa'yuups is an acclaimed traditional Nuu-chah-nulth designer, carver, singer, dancer, and composer; this includes any designs needed for regalia or thliitsapilthim (curtains) or guiding through the process of ceremony. One of his lifelong passions that he holds immense pride in is collecting over 10,000 Nuu-chah-nulth names which are shared when requested by family members. 

His traditional names have included: Haphkwachuu, Kwaawina, Kwaayaats’ap’alth, K’waayis, Sha’tsiiyakib, Tlaakwaagiikamaay, Ki-ke-in, Wuu’yaakiihtuu, Gwaayimdzii, Xwunxwulaas, Hiilthaamaas, Hahaayuu-iih, Haayuu-ituu-iih, Aa-aptsiik, Haa-ak Aptsiik, Tl’iitl’aalaadzii, Chamaktl, Tlaaliis, Tlaatsatsum, Chaakwaasap, Chaakwaasiktin, Chaakwaasikmiik, Aa-aatsiknuk, Winchii, Tliishin, Aapchinkwaa-ap, Huu-aahtitapshiith, Omaay, Chamaḳtl Naawxdzii, Chaachimsa’nap, and Tl’oheys. On 28-29 May 2009, he assumed the title of his paternal great-grandfather as the Taayii of the Takiishtakamlthat-h house of Tliikuultyhat-h Huupachesat-h. After a bad car accident, in the winter of 2017, his aunty Hilda Hansen changed his name from Chuuchkamalthnii to ḥaa'yuups; when translated to english, it means ten times the chief. 

ḥaa'yuups achieved his Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and pursued many different interests including, but not limited to, Historical interpretation. He is a published author and educator / lecturer for kindergarteners to PhD students. He also teaches seminars and has a personal commitment to diverse community development projects. Because of his renowned work in all of these areas, he has traveled to many places. His travels include visiting the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian as a guest curator preparing the Nuu-chah-nulth portion of their major Northwest Coast exhibition “Listening To Our Ancestors” in 2005. ḥaa'yuups has many selected accomplishments to mention. He co-curated the first major exhibition of Nuu-chah-nulth thliitsapilthim (ceremonial curtains) titled “Backstory. Nuu-chah-nulth Ceremonial Curtains and the Works of Ki-ke-in” at the Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. This exhibition was a part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. For the last 4 years he has been working as the Co-Curator of the newly refurbished Northwest Coast hall at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Most recently he has been involved with the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, also in New York City. 

As a Nuu-chah-nulth ethnographer Ki-ke-in wrote the Introduction to the 2004 Nuu-chah-nulth Phrase Book & Dictionary. ḥaa'yuups contributed 14 designs to the first, cooperatively written product of the Barkley Sound Language Development Project, the Nuu-chah-nulth Phrase Book & Dictionary: Barkley Sound Dialect (Bamfield: Barkley Sound Dialect Working Group, 2004). From having an understanding of sound structure and syntax, ḥaa'yuups created his own version of word spelling for the Nuu-chah-nulth language. Below is a chart for reference. ḥaa'yuups is also mentioned and has had publications in many books of knowledge sharing for study. He wants to create an annotated bibliography of his considerable library of material about the West Coast. 

In finishing, ḥaa'yuups is eager and aspires to complete many more projects before he plans to completely retire. He is constantly working on compiling information to be used as learning tools for Nuu-chah-nulth people to ensure that our history and practices don’t diminish. He has and will continually be a resource of bountiful information when called upon for our cultural practices and preparations for ceremony as a knowledge keeper. His wish is to complete his compilation for further use before he leaves this world. 

Source: the original creation of this document was inspired by the works of Dr. Denise Green at Cornell University in 2003 and was last updated in 2014. Since 2014, ḥaa'yuups has been up to a lot. Through conversation, and interpretation, Veronica Agnes Morgan pieced together this biography for the Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive in May 2021.




Referenced Content