In October of 1980, Jamin Zuroski was born in White Rock, BC. He holds mixed ancestry from Ukrainian and Polish on his father’s side and Namgis First Nation on his mothers side. Jamin is one of three siblings from his mother, Cindy Cook and is a grandchild to Ruth and George Cook.
The Gigalgam Cook family comes from the beautiful and culturally rich village called Alert Bay, located on Cormorant Island.
Alert Bay sits on the regional lands of the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Kwak’wala speaking peoples.
In 1921, the Government of Canada banned Aboriginal ceremonies in Alert Bay and all throughout BC, like potlatches, which were a place to practice song, dance and the exchange of wealth.
It wasn’t until half a century later and after numerous political negotiations, were some of the confiscated cultural items of the Kwakwaka’wakw returned to their rightful owners and where potlatches were allowed again. U’mista Cultural Centre, which is open to the public in Alert Bay, houses many of the confiscated and returned ceremonial items. Since the 1970’s, the peoples of Namgis Nation, in Alert Bay started to practice and regain their rich culture again.
Since 1985, Jamin has lived in Victoria, BC, on the beautiful and prosperous lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. When available, Jamin continues to visit Alert Bay to attend cultural ceremonies and events.
Jamin has held strong connection to Aboriginal culture from an early age. Since grade 7, he was first introduced to learn and practice A variety of West Coast First Nations Designs. During this time of artistic learning, he instantly became spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally connected to the stories and legends of West Coast Peoples.
As Jamin navigated and practiced art throughout junior high and high school, he was honoured numerous art awards. During his teenage years, he was offered after hours opportunities to continue his practice and artistic learning under the mentorship and guidance of Victor and Carey Newman.
For the past 20 years, Jamin has practiced and worked with a variety of artists, community members, organizations, businesses, schools, friendship centres, municipalities and government on a variety of cultural projects and initiatives.
Some of the current mediums he works with are cedar wood carving, cedar and glass sandblasting, mural painting, canvas painting and computer graphics.
Awards and Community Partnerships
— The Bay Centre (@baycentrevic) September 12, 2016