Twenty-four years old and a proud ambassador of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) for five years, T’ec Georgina Dan is the Cultural Leader of the Spo7ez Performance team, co-facilitator of the Indigenous Youth Ambassador Program, and has held the position of Cultural Administration Coordinator for the past two years.
Dan is inspired by her work, and not one day can be considered typical, saying “every day looks different. I collaborate on the scheduling for our cultural growth and sharing department, our performance scheduling and programming, and with our welcomings and blessings throughout Whistler.”
Dan is from the Lil’wat Nation and works alongside ambassadors at the SLCC, proudly “sharing my culture and representing myself here in Whistler. I lead guided tours, performances and cultural programming, crafts, workshops, either in person or virtual. There has been plenty of interest in online classes and workshops,” she says, adding “it opened up more availability for people to experience the Centre.”
As a young Indigenous woman, she has found inspiration from the women she has the privilege of working alongside and learning from, saying, “I feel that my true business role models are the women in this organization, as they have really set a good example of being great leaders while bringing representation into this workforce.”
The SLCC has a responsibility to elevate and educate around the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh and Lil̓wat7úl ways, which involves the entire team, including Dan. Reflecting on the past couple of years, in particular, Dan says, “I think with a lot of reconciliation coming into the forefront of media, and being the only Indigenous organization in Whistler, a lot of heads were turned. People look toward us to lead the way with that."
I am happy to take on the challenge, very much so. The timing is right.”
In December 2021, Dan was invited to Ottawa (Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory) to accept a prestigious award on behalf of the SLCC. “We received the 2021 National Indigenous Tourism Award from the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, and that was very exciting,” she says with such humility and pride in her voice. “That is something that I will be talking about forever because so many people recognized us for what we’ve been doing.”
For more information about the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, visit slcc.ca.