Governor General visits Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre 

The Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre got a special guest in Governor General Michaelle Jean Monday.

The dignitary, who serves as the representative for the Crown in Canada, was in Whistler to enjoy the Olympic Games and made a stop over at the cultural centre in the afternoon. She had earlier attended the men's downhill at Whistler Creekside.

Jean, along with husband and Viceregal Consort Jean-Daniel Lafond, was greeted by Squamish Nation Chief Bill Williams and Lil'wat Nation Chief Leonard Andrew at the door, where the two dignitaries marveled at the spinning whorls that welcome visitors when they arrive.

Soon after her arrival, the Governor General was treated to a viewing of the Cultural Centre's introductory film, which aims to educate visitors about the two First Nations who share territory within the Sea to Sky region.

She then met with First Nation carvers and youth ambassadors who gave her a tour of the centre.

The Governor General did not speak to media but Josh Anderson, a Lil'wat member and frontline coordinator at the cultural centre, said she told them that their culture is in revival and that they need to ensure they stay connected with it.

"It was very nice, it was quite an honour to meet her," he said. "I watched her in the opening ceremonies on TV and I was like, oh wow, that's her, that's the one who's going to be coming and visiting us at the centre.

"It's a relief, we've expected her arrival for the last couple of weeks now and it was a very great feeling."

The Governor General had earlier participated in the Vancouver 2010 Indigenous Youth Gathering, a 16-day event that brought 300 aboriginal youth to the Corridor. Jean hosted Vancouver and 2010 Olympic Truce Youth Dialogue: Promoting Mutual Understanding, a series of discussions that focused on facilitating dialogue between different cultures.

Other dignitaries in Whistler this week have included Princess Anne, Prince Rainier of Monaco, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Lieutenant Governor of B.C. Steven L. Pointe, Senator Nancy Greene Raine, Minister of State for Sport Garry Lunn as well as local MP John Westin and local MLA Joan McIntyre.

 

 

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