Whistler’s First Nations museum is partnering with the local municipality to offer a variety of ways to mark National Indigenous People Day on June 21.
The programming celebrates the Squamish People, known as Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh in their language, and the Lil’wat People, known as Líl̓wat7úl in their language, and will be held at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) near the Upper Village.
The day will include musical performances by the Spiritual Warriors and the Spo7ez Performance Team and spoken word from SLCC ambassador and hip-hop artist Jay Natrell, also know as The Prophet.
The SLCC’s latest exhibit, Ancient Medicines: From Feast to Famine to Freedom also opens June 21. The same day, the museum will play host to storytelling, live carving as part of the Community Reconciliation Canoe project, an artist market featuring traditional and contemporary work from Lil’wat and Squamish Nation artists, and activities, as well as a yoga session in Itsken Hall led by lululemon.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler is providing funding for educational programming supporting the Spo7ez Performance Team on June 21. This funding will also support the reconciliation canoe-carving project that runs until Sept. 4. The canoe will ultimately be completed by master carvers, First Nations youth and elders, local Whistlerites and visitors to the resort.
“National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton in a release. “I encourage everyone to deepen their understanding of the L̓il̓wat7úl (Lil’wat People) and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish People) who have lived on this land since time immemorial.”
Admission to the SLCC will be free from June 21 to July 3. Some highlighted activities during that period include a pole-awakening ceremony on June 23 with carver Ed NoiseCat, more performances by the Spo7ez Performance Team, and a speaker series, featuring Crompton, and spoken-word performances with the museum’s cultural ambassadors.
For Canada Day, the SLCC will offer hourly guided tours, including the “Paddling through the Nations Tour.”
The RMOW will also be lighting the Fitzsimmons Creek bridge orange on June 20 and 21 in recognition of the our First Nations’ “history, culture, stewardship and voice,” the release said.
For full programming details, visit slcc.ca/nipd.