Whistler Traveller Magazine - - TRAVELLER I LOCAL VIBE -

The Squamish and Lil’wat First Na­tions who claim Whistler as part of their shared tra­di­tional ter­ri­tory of­fer vis­i­tors the op­por­tu­nity to learn about their tra­di­tional be­liefs, prac­tices and cul­ture at the world-renowned Squamish Lil’wat Cul­tural Cen­tre, a short walk from Whistler Vil­lage.

Each guest at the cen­tre — built to rep­re­sent the tra­di­tional Coast Sal­ish (Squamish) long­house and In­te­rior Sal­ish (Lil’wat) pit­house — takes part in a guided tour that in­cludes a wel­come song, a short film and nar­ra­tive that ex­plains the sig­nif­i­cance of the carv­ings, art, songs and cer­e­monies that have been passed down through the gen­er­a­tions. Tours are guided by Cul­tural Am­bas­sadors, each one pas­sion­ate about shar­ing both his or her peo­ple’s tra­di­tional be­liefs and how those be­liefs play out in real-life sit­u­a­tions. “It’s liv­ing cul­ture, so we have amaz­ing ex­hibits about tra­di­tions and cul­ture, and each tour guide is able to re­late what you’re see­ing to their own fam­ily ex­pe­ri­ence within ei­ther the Lil’wat or Squamish com­mu­nity,” said Deanna Wam­pler, SLCC mar­ket­ing man­ager.

The cen­tre of­fers in­ter­ac­tive work­shops in which guests learn how to make a va­ri­ety of items in­clud­ing tra­di­tional Sal­ish hand drums, buck­skin medicine bags and wo­ven cedar bracelets as a sou­venir of their visit. To en­hance the ex­pe­ri­ence, there is a 30-minute in­ter­pre­tive for­est walk that of­fers glimpses into how Squamish and Lil’wat peo­ples used na­tive plants for food, as medicine and in cul­tural cer­e­monies.

New this year are reg­u­lar out­door bar­be­cues fea­tur­ing salmon and other tra­di­tional First Na­tions fare. slcc.ca

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