29 Sep National Day for Truth and Reconcilation: An open letter to Whistler Businesses
It takes a Village
Leading up to National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Whistler Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to deliver Orange Heart Window decals across the Village and Valley. The package included letters from SLCC Executive Director, Heather Paul, and Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton, and we are pleased to shared them here.
A message to Whistler Businesses from the SLCC
September 23, 2021
Enclosed in this package are some buttons for your team to wear the week of September 27th; a gift to you from the Ambassadors at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler (SLCC). Many local businesses have reached out to staff, asking what can be done to commemorate this new ‘holiday’, and I raise my hands to you in thanks for taking the time to consider how to honour this collective journey towards Truth and Reconciliation.
The SLCC has designed a day of programming on September 30th that will honour survivors of the Indian Residential School system, and hold close the spirit of those children recently uncovered from ground. The Fairmont Chateau Whistler has partnered with us to make September 30th free admission for anyone who wishes to attend. CIBC has followed that lead and generously opened up an entire weekend of free access for all (October 1-3).
As a business, your relationship with National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a personal one for you to reflect on and decide. If you choose to close, I encourage you to share all the Truth and Reconciliation resources with your staff so they can spend the day creating a deeper understanding of what Truth and Reconciliation means. Like us, many Whistler businesses will remain open on September 30th, as we are hosts to guests from across the world. We have been asked how an open business can support not only this day, but what the future of Truth and Reconciliation in tourism might look like. Consider some of your daily proceeds going to charities such as the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS). Or, if I may be so bold, to the SLCC, a registered charity.
SLCC Ambassadors and the communities from both Nations are directly affected by Indian Residential Schools and generational trauma. Our mission is to share the history and celebrate the original peoples of this land, providing meaningful employment and empowering SLCC Ambassadors as leaders and stewards.
The future starts with listening and learning. Front line staff recognizing the significance of the character ‘7’ in a person’s name, knowing a Chief’s name as well as they know the Mayor, or translating our collective connection to this land into a reverence for the People whose ancestors are buried in the Douglas Firs we weave between in joyful recreation or soulful reflection.
As the sun goes down on September 30th, please ask yourself, “what will I do next?”. Read, research, and learn. Reflect, honour and grow. Expand the Whistler experience for staff and book a cultural day at the SLCC. We offer so many possibilities for engagement and connection: tours, song, drum making workshops, Indigenous inspired lunches, and other programming.
We are open and invite you in. Please be gentle in your journey, for many of the Ambassadors these stories are of the auntie, uncle or friend who never came home, and may be too fragile to surface. Whether you visit us next week, or choose to come another day, you will be welcomed with love, ancient stories, and youthful voices.
Huy Chexw (thank you) Wa Chexw Yuu (take care)– Squamish Language
Kukw`stumc`kalap (Thank-you all) – Lil’wat Language,
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, BC
A message from Mayor Jack Crompton to Whistler businesses
To our valued business partners,
As Mayor of Whistler, I am pleased to share this Business Tool Kit for the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, in partnership with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.
I am proud to live and work in the territories of the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation.
We believe one of the most important actions we can take to support Truth and Reconciliation is to listen and learn. The municipality continues to contemplate meaningful ways to learn and acknowledge our colonial past and support Council, staff and the community in their learning journey.
Now is the time to stand with Indigenous Peoples and to acknowledge the trauma that colonialism and residential schools has caused. This acknowledgement of our shared history is an important first step in advancing reconciliation locally and nationally.
This year, to recognize the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, we invite Whistler businesses to join the Resort Municipality of Whistler in showing our solidarity and support of those impacted by the injustices of the colonial systems and the residential school system.
Enclosed you will find an orange heart decal to be displayed on your business door or front window. As Truth and Reconciliation is a commitment to ongoing listening and learning, we encourage you to permanently display this decal year round as a beacon of hope, and a reminder that this learning journey continues.
Along with the display of the decal, we recommend setting aside a portion of an upcoming staff meeting to review the Frequently Asked Questions created by the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and to watch one or more of the videos.
We strongly encourage you and your employees to include a visit to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre for an immersive cultural experience and to learn more about the Shared Territories of the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation. We also recommend visiting www.slcc.ca/ndtr for additional resources.
We look forward to sharing more opportunities for learning, listening and action in support of Truth and Reconciliation.
Mayor Jack Crompton