21 Nov The Salish Welcome Figure on Whistler Mountain
Placed next to the Peak to Peak Gondola on Whistler Mountain, the Salish Welcome Figure welcomes you to the shared territory of the Sk̲wxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and the Líl̓wat7ul (Lil’wat Nation).
In 2010, the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation presented the yellow cedar tree (harvested from the base of Whistler Mountain) used to make the Welcome Figure to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and commissioned Xwalacktun (Xwalacktun (Rick Harry) and his son James who are both from the Squamish Nation) to carve the figure. It is a part of the Cultural Journey, a project used to highlight the beauty and history of the landscape found in the Sea to Sky Corridor and to represent the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations in our territory.
“(It’s) a marker of friendship; a marker of relationship building,” said Squamish Nation Chief Gibby Jacob in 2010.
A traditional carving style of the Squamish Nation, a carved figure of a Man with his arms raised is used to welcome friends and loved ones into their territory. The handprints around the pole are of those that assisted with the carving, a symbol that we’re all connected. The Whistling Marmot represents Whistler Mountain, the mountain was named after the marmot that can be found and heard through the summer time. The frog is a tribute to the Lil’wat Nation; it’s a symbol of transition because of its ability to live in the water and on land.
Photo Credit: Coast Mountain Photography