Chief Dean Nelson

PRESS RELEASE: SLCC to open on July 1 and host Speaker Series with Lil’wat Chief Dean Nelson

For Immediate Release:

June 27, 2024, Whistler, BC (Skwxwú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl) – The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler (SLCC) – the heart of Whistler’s authentic Indigenous experience, is set to host a Speaker Series on Monday, July 1 with Lil’wat Nation Political Chief Skalulmecw Dean Nelson for the Whistler Podcast with Mayor Jack Crompton along with signature guided tours. Regularly closed on Monday’s, the SLCC is open on Monday July 1 with Free Admission gratefully supported by Proud Partner CIBC and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.

The SLCC will host a thoughtful conversation for the Guest Speaker Series on Monday July 1, at 3 pm with Lil’wat Nation Political Chief Skalulmecw Dean Nelson and Mayor Jack Crompton for the Whistler Podcast in the Istken Hall, when guests can hear perspectives on Líl̓wat7úl and their presence and work today.  With the SLCC’s deeply valued hourly guided tours including the signature What We Treasure tour and Interpretive Forest Tour, and two feature exhibitions, along with the thoughtful conversation on July 1, guests can appreciate connecting authentically to the people of the land where Whistler resides. Following immersive programming featured throughout the National Indigenous History Month in June, the SLCC offers an opportunity for visitors, residents, businesses and their employees in Whistler to learn more about the distinctive culture of the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation as part of a nation-wide time to honour stories, achievements and resilience of Indigenous Peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial.

Guests can admire and engage in learning in the two feature exhibitions: The Declaration of the Lillooet Tribes in Gallery 2, and Ta na wa Yúus ta Stitúyntsam̓ / skel7áw̓lh (The person who protects the land / Steward of the land – extended through July 1) in Gallery 3. The feature exhibitions are gratefully supported by the Province of British Columbia, the First People’s Cultural Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the British Columbia Arts Council.

The Salish Summer Carving Series will begin Thursday July 4 with Master Carver Jonathan Joe (Lil̓wat7úl), mentoring SLCC Apprentice Redmond Q̓áwam̓ Andrews (Lil̓wat7úl) carving on Wednesday’s through Saturdays until September 1, 2024 at the entrance to SLCC’s Great Hall. The carving will begin with a cedar log blessing ceremony at 11 am on Thursday, July 4, 2024, the story pole will incorporate designs that honour the Declaration of the Lillooet Tribes signed in 1911. The second year of the two-year immersive experience creating a pair of carvings, that featured Master Carver Xwalacktun (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh / Kwakwak’wakw / Namgis) mentoring Brandon Hall (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) carving during the summer of 2023. The two carvings will be sisters, telling a complimentary story and bringing them new life as carving authentic to the territory, and the new pole by Jonathan Joe will eventually rise beside the house post by Xwalacktun that now stands at the SLCC’s entrance on Lorimer Road.

Throughout summer, guests are invited to join immersive experiences including welcome song and guided tours in the museum, to learn more about the two distinct cultures of Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl, accessing the Great Hall and galleries, featuring a short film to delve deeper into their stories, shared territories and living heritage. Guests can explore authentic Indigenous artwork and keepsakes in the Gallery and Gift Shop – Whistler’s only First Nations Gift Shop, and enjoy Indigenous-inspired cuisine at the Thunderbird Café.

Executive Director Liza Walli shares, “We are continuing the SLCC tradition of hosting important conversations in support of re-thinking Canada Day, through the voices of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl – the first peoples of this land. Two strong and committed community leaders Chief Dean Nelson and Mayor Jack Crompton coming together provides us all a unique opportunity to listen in and learn about the rich history and hopeful future of the Lil’wat Nation, all through the lens and life of their Chief. Join us for our Speakers Series on July 1st this year and every year, in a shared effort to educate, reflect and inspire a new way forward.”

Guests and Sea to Sky residents, business and community members are encouraged to show their support on Monday July 1, and share in meaningful connections at the SLCC throughout the year with Annual Memberships and monthly donations to the SLCC. As an authentic Indigenous organization and charitable non-profit, the SLCC employs over 90% Indigenous Ambassadors and all proceeds are invested into meaningful employment, training (including Indigenous Youth Ambassador Program) and cultural revitalization programs for the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and Lil̓wat7úl (Lil’wat Nation), through the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Líḻwat7ul Cultural Centre.

The SLCC’s regular opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm but is open for cultural sharing and speaker series on Monday July 1. The SLCC will close early on Saturday June 29 at 2pm for a private event. The SLCC occasionally closes early for private events – for up-to-date hours and early closures please visit slcc.ca/visit.

Free Admission on Monday July 1 is gratefully provided by Proud Partner CIBC and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW).

To learn more visit about July Long Weekend visit slcc.ca/July
Upcoming Events and Workshops slcc.ca/events

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