Skip to content

Squamish Nation amalgamation exhibit unveiled at the library

Tsawaysia Spukwus and Coun. Eric Andersen unveil an exhibit at the Squamish Public Library which details some of the history of the Squamish Nation in the area.

Tsawaysia Spukwus (Alice Guss) and Coun. Eric Andersen unveiled an exhibit at the Squamish Public Library in celebration of the 100th anniversary of amalgamation for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation).

The exhibit consists of information pre-dating the 1923 amalgamation all the way to the present, even including a small panel about the District of Squamish and Nation signing the Wa Iyı́̓m ta Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Strong) Protocol Agreement on Monday, July 17.

About 20 District and library staff attended the unveiling and numerous library-goers stopped to listen to both Andersen and Guss speak. The display will be up at the library for the public to see for several more weeks and is located just beyond the foyer on the left-hand wall.

Andersen spoke about lessons he learned from a decolonization workshop in 2020, one of which was learning and restoring the local history of Indigenous Peoples.

“This is a healing process,” Guss said about going back and learning about the history of the Nation and sharing it.

Guss said Andersen and she had worked on the exhibit since about February, with Andersen making it a point to sit down with Elders and listen to them about their history in the region.

The exhibit shares a number of collaborations that the Nation and the District of Squamish (then Village) took on even in the early days of incorporation for the municipality. 

A few examples included the Nation performing an opening the 1958 Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival as well as volunteering help and fundraising to construct the Squamish General Hospital in the early 1950s.

Additionally, the display shows that the District and Nation worked together for river protection and control in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Guss told the crowd that the Nation is having a public celebration for amalgamation on Sunday, July 23 at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, which takes place on the official day the 16 First Nation Chiefs signed the document assembling the groups into one governing body.

But she also reiterated that amalgamation was “sensitive” to many from the Nation, reminding the group of some of the struggles they had to endure to get to that point.

“There’s more work to do,” said Andersen.


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks