Whistler’s Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Squamish Nation’s Amalgamation with a new exhibit that opens today, July 22.
“100 Years of Unity-Celebrating 100 Years of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw” honours the date that 16 villages from across the territory came together on July 23, 1923, “strengthening the people through unity,” a SLCC release said.
Curated by Tsawaysia Dominique Nahanee from the Squamish Nation, and assisted by Mixalhítsa7 Alison Pascal from the Lil’wat Nation, the exhibit displays weaving, carving and historical artifacts that give “the viewer an overview of the history of the Squamish Nation, connection to land throughout the territory, Siy̓ám̓—Hereditary Chieftainship and today’s elected council members and their roles and responsibilities listening to the voice of their people and representation to benefit the community as a whole,” the release went on.
“I am honoured to have worked on this exhibit, and I feel more connected to the history of the Squamish Nation,” said Nahanee in the release. “Through this exhibit, I was able to connect with some members of our community that I don’t always get to see. I hope others will be able to connect to the history as I have, and hopefully it opens them up to new questions and sets them on their own learning journey.”
Located in Gallery 2, the exhibit is complemented by contemporary environmental photography from Squamish Nation members on their land, in the “UNCEDED” exhibition in Gallery 3.
Guests can also experience live carving by Master Carver Xwalacktun at the entrance to the SLCC’s Great Hall. He will be carving a house post, while mentoring SLCC apprentice carver Brandon Hall.
As part of the Salish Summer Carving Series, the house post commemorates the amalgamation’s centennial, incorporating designs that honour the 16 families that came together to form what is known today as Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation). The carving will eventually be erected to stand at the museum’s entrance on Lorimer Road alongside another planned carving that will begin being made in 2024.
“The two carvings will be sisters, telling a complementary story and bringing them new life as carvings authentic to the territory where they will stand,” the release explained.
The exhibit runs until Oct. 8. Learn more at slcc.ca/pr-amalgamation.
The SLCC is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and occasionally closes early for private events. Plan your visit at slcc.ca/visit.