Sacred Markings

S7ulh Stl’alk̲em Sx̲el̓

A7xa7 Smetsúlm̓ecw

April 2014-January 2016

Since time immemorial Indigenous peoples from all over the world have practiced traditional body art. Whether it’s painted on, stitched on or scarred-the skin of Indigenous people carries their lineage and history.
In this provocative exhibition you will explore the unique body art and other markings of cultural significance of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. This is a collection of contemporary sculptures that are influenced our intangible hereditary rights and ancient cultural values. A community reflection wall is also included it highlights photographs of tattoos submitted by the public.

Co-curator Demara Jacobs of the Squamish Nation brings insight into the history of her nation. How the patterns used represents the landscape around them. Co-curator Alison Pascal of the Lil’wat Nation delves into the ancient rituals of the Lil’wat Nation. Many of these were only practiced by one family and did not survive the residential school era.
During the potlatch ban 1885-1951 Aboriginal People were unable to practice their traditional ceremonies. If caught still practicing traditional ceremonies any artwork and or clothing could be confiscated. The Grizzly Bear Clan of the Lil’wat Nation chose to bury their regalia (traditional clothing) instead of having it forcibly removed. This exhibition has inspired the Grizzly Bear Clan to recreate a version of their regalia.

Witness the markings that are a visual representation of both individual and collective heritage.


Siyamiyaiy Cha7awtenaat-Demara Jacobs of the Squamish Nation, Mix̲alhítsa7-Alison Pascal of the Lil’wat Nation-Jr. Curator & Sarah Director of Development at SLCC

Special Thanks

Siyamiyaiy Cha7awtenaat-Demara Jacobs-Co-Curator
Mixalhítsa7-Alison Pascal-Co-Curator
Lil’wat7ul Cultural Centre- Kakusa7 Mary Elaine James & Mamaya7 Lois Joseph
Cultural Advisors- Johnny Jones &Lex Joseph


BC Hydro, Department of Canadian Heritage, Rocky Mountaineer, Pemberton Museum & Archives, Whistler Wood Works Ltd.


April 2014-January 2016

Past Exhibit