PRESS RELEASE: SLCC celebrating National Indigenous History Month in June with immersive cultural experiences

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Updated June 9, 2023.

June 9, 2023, 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 immersive cultural experiences celebrating the spirit of Skwxwú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl throughout June for National Indigenous History Month and culminating in a lively event day on Wednesday June 21 for National Indigenous Peoples Day and a day of reflection on Saturday July 1. The SLCC is grateful to be supported by Proud Partner CIBC offering Free Admission on Wednesday June 21, Saturday July 1, and Sunday July 2.

Honouring National Indigenous History Month 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. With the SLCC’s unique Indigenous wellness and craft offerings, the extension of the feature exhibition – UNCEDED, engaging celebrations on National Indigenous Peoples Day and thoughtful conversation on July 1, guests can expect to connect authentically to the people of the land where Whistler resides.

On the morning of Saturday June 17 and 24, the Holistic Tour and Indigenous Tea Offering welcomes guests with a drum song, and a Cultural Ambassador who will guide an interpretive walk through the Salish Forest, presenting herbs and medicinal plants that grow in the region. Following in the Longhouse, guests experience an Indigenous tea offering to learn and savour the healing benefits of traditional teas, served with First Nations traditional bannock. Please note the Spo7ez Wellness Feast on Saturday June 10 has been cancelled due to low attendance.

Families with young ones can connect with Cultural Ambassadors through workshops in June including the Discover Your Animal Spirit on Sunday June 18 and 25, from 2pm-4pm, and craft workshops – the Cedar Paddle Necklace on Sunday June 18, 1-2pm, and the Buckskin Medicine Bag on Sunday June 25, 1-2pm

During National Indigenous Peoples Day on Wednesday June 21, guests are invited to connect with Cultural Ambassadors as they share live carving and performances, storytelling, and craft activities with free admission thanks to proud partner CIBC. The Spo7ez Performance team will present powerful cultural sharing on the Mezzanine Patio. The Spiritual Warriors will celebrate with songs from their new album Indigenize – their music is inspired by the land and life in the coast mountains of the Lilwat Nation, and their unique blend of indigenous chants and contemporary roots, rock, reggae offer a distinctly west coast sound. An Artists Market on the Mezzanine patio will feature traditional and contemporary offerings from artists of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nation. Guests can join a Guided Interpretive Forest Walk and a Curators Talk in the Unceded Exhibition with Mixalhítsa7 Alison Pascal of the Lil’wat Nation, and Tsawaysia Dominique Nahanee of the Squamish Nation. Families can explore the museum and galleries with a scavenger hunt and kids can enjoy craft and colouring stations. Guest are invited to begin the day early in the beautiful space of the Istken Hall, honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day and the summer solstice with Yoga from 8 – 9:15am in partnership with Lululemon for International Day of Yoga. The SLCC Theatre will feature an afternoon show of the Indigenous film – Indian Road Trip from Director Allan Hopkins of the N’Quatqua Nation in partnership with Whistler Film Festival. Indigenous-inspired food will be offered at the Thunderbird Café and the satellite café in the Longhouse and bold handcrafted artwork and authentic keepsakes will be on display in the Gallery and Gift Shop. Throughout Canada the day brings a time to recognize and celebrate the unique and diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, and the SLCC is proud to be the heart of authentic connections to the peoples of the shared territories in Whistler.

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year and holding deep cultural and spiritual significance to many Indigenous peoples, the SLCC features the unique offerings available through the summer. A feature of the Summer Salish Carving Series in 2023 and in honour of the 100 Year Anniversary of the Squamish Nation Amalgamation in July 1923, Squamish Artist Xwalacktun Rick Harry and SLCC Apprentice Brandon Hall will begin live carving of a new 30ft pole.

The feature exhibition extended through summer offers guests an opportunity to delve into learning about the people of the shared territories – UNCEDED: S7ulh Temíxw / Ti Tmicwkálha / Our Land – A Photographic Journey into Belonging extended through October 8, 2023. The exhibition featuring photography by Logan Swayze offers guests a deeper appreciation of the people of the land through environmental portraiture of Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh Úxwumixw and the Lil’wat7ul, set in breathtaking locations on the unceded territories throughout the Sea to Sky and where their shared territories meet in Whistler, BC. The SLCC gratefully acknowledges the Fairmont Chateau Whistler as the title sponsor of the UNCEDED Exhibition.

Throughout the month, 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 exhibits, 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 largest First Nations Gift Shop, and enjoy Indigenous-inspired cuisine at the Thunderbird Café.

On Saturday July 1, the SLCC will host a thoughtful conversation in Rethinking Canada Day – a Guest Speaker series with Squamish Nation Spokesperson Wilson Williams and Mayor Jack Crompton of the Whistler Podcast on the Mezzanine patio. The Spo7ez Performance team will present cultural sharing in traditional regalia. Paddle Necklace craft activity will be gratefully provided by the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and through Sunday July 2. Guests can explore the museum and galleries and families can enjoy an engaging scavenger hunt and craft and colouring stations. Free Admission on both Saturday July 1 and Sunday July 2 is gratefully provided by Proud Partner CIBC.

Executive Director Heather Paul shares, “On National Indigenous People’s Day, and throughout National Indigenous History Month we celebrate the culture and presence of the Original Peoples of this land. It is a time to imagine this continent as Turtle Island, unbounded by borders and connected not by a nationality, but instead a humanity that is alive between the mountains, plains, ice fields, lakes, and seas, woven together by the lessons of ancestors who have lived here since time immemorial. We joyfully recognize the rich history and contributions of Indigenous People, and the Skwxwú7mesh and Líl̓wat7úl have made and continue to make in our lives every day.”

The SLCC is open regular hours on Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm (Closed Mondays, and on Friday June 16th 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 Wednesday June 21, Saturday July 1, and Sunday July 2 is gratefully provided by Proud Partner CIBC.

For more information and to see the full cultural programming for:
– Upcoming Events and Workshops slcc.ca/events
– National Indigenous History Month visit SLCC.ca/nihm
– National Indigenous Peoples Day at SLCC.ca/nipd.
– Wellness events – Spo7ez Wellness Feast or Holistic Tour and Indigenous Tea Offering at slcc.ca/wellness

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