Inspiration for the Name

kûr-moe-dee ~ “The role of the Spirit Bear is to guide people to special places”

Kermode Bear photo used by permission from Spirit Bear Youth Coalition 2012

The Kermode Bear is unique to an isolated rainforest in British Columbia (BC), Canada.  Up until a century ago, she was known only by the Tsimshian people of BC’s northern coast.  Genetically, she is a sub-species of the North American black bear but has a specific recessive gene that produces white fur.  She is neither an albino, nor is she a polar bear as was once believed by the 20th century settlers.  The Tsimshian people regard her as the “Spirit Bear”, whose primary role is to remind us of the Ice Age when the world was pure.  She is said to have important powers, most notably the ability to lead people to special places.  The Kermode Bear continues to be cherished by the local community, with a current count estimated at 200-400.  But as human development encroaches on the Spirit Bear’s rainforest, concerns are mounting that the gene pool that supports the Kermode gene is becoming diluted & this national treasure will perish.

Source:  retrieved from on March 23, 2012 and 2008 cached pages


Gail's KCS logo April 2012
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