01 Oct TEDX Whistler at the SLCC 2021
Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh (Squamish Nation) and Lílw̓at (Lil’wat Nation) leaders headline TEDxWhistler at the SLCC
This month, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre was host to TEDxWhistler’s 2021 virtual event. Ambassadors sang their songs and welcomed speakers and organizers, under the backdrop of the SLCC’s beautiful Great Hall. The board of directors and staff are proud to witness 2 of our leaders speak at this year’s event. A perfect companion to your day: the words and stories of Chepximiya Siyam Chief Janice George and Kúkwpi7 (Chief) Gélpcal.
We raise our hand in thanks to TEDxWhistler vollunteers and organizers for their partnership and good hearts.
So Many Questions, So Few Answers – Kúkwpi7 (Chief) Gélpcal, Lílw̓at
Kúkwpi7 Gélpcal (Cultural Chief R.A. Joseph) was born in Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh (Squamish), British Columbia and is a citizen of the Lil’wat Nation (Mount Currie). His roots are gathered from Tsal’alh (Seton Lake), home of his mother Xí7tsa7, and Lil’wat, home of his father Saw’.
Gélpcal is a multi-medium artist, specializing in carving wood and soapstone, acrylic painting, pine needle basketry, and pyrography. He loves being self-sufficient in the outdoors and spending his time fishing and harvesting medicine, tea, berries, pine mushrooms, and other food from the land.
Volunteer work is very important to Gélpcal, as he is quick to admit that he did not build himself…rather, the community did. He knows all time is precious, so he spends it collecting stories and sharing them through all he creates. Teaching only furthers his passion as he finds security in knowing that he’s provided guidance to new artists and assured that his rich culture is to be shared always.
The Spirit Moves Like a Storm – Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George
Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George is an accomplished weaver and teacher from the Squamish Nation. She, along with her fellow weaver and teacher Skwetsimeltxw Willard “Buddy” Joseph, co-founded L’hen Awtxw Weaving House to share the teachings and practice of traditional Coast Salish wool weaving.
Chief Janice George graduated from Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her education at these schools helped her excel as a teacher, adding to her most important traditional teachings.
Janice is a hereditary chief, trained museum curator, and educator. She co-organized the 1st Canada Northwest Coast Weavers Gathering, with other Squamish Nation Weavers. Janice and Willard are from prominent Squamish families and have numerous ceremonial and cultural responsibilities in their community.