Introducing the Lil'wat
Today, Lil’wat traditional ways of life continue to be important within our local economy here in the northwest of British Columbia, Canada. Fish, game, plant foods and medicines are still harvested and prepared in the traditional manner and are bought and traded with neighbouring First Nations.
Traditional crafts remain important both economically and culturally. The Líl’wat people are famous for our intricate basketry with patterns created from cedar roots, cedar bark, wild cherry bark and various grasses and reeds. Hand drums made from wood and the skins of deer, coyote, and moose created by skilled artisans are highly sought after, as are the detailed cedar carvings of both functional and decorative items.
The Lil’wat Nation continues to assert its right to manage the resources of our land. For clearly, our culture and livelihood depend upon a healthy environment and access to it. Through dedication, perseverance and innovative partnerships we are maintaining our traditional stewardship of the land in contemporary ways.
To find out more visit the Lil’wat Nation website.
The Sea To Sky Cultural Journey
The Sea to Sky Corridor is a route stretching north from Vancouver through Whistler and is renowned worldwide for its breathtaking scenery. From the coast of Vancouver, along the edge of Howe Sound and into breathtaking mountain ranges, the highway is known for its unique beauty. However, the Sea to Sky Corridor is much more than spectacular scenery…it is also a Cultural Journey. Every inch of the route is rich with First Nations oral history, supernatural beings and place names. We invite you to see the land through First Nations eyes. To learn the names of this land that have existed since time immemorial. To experience how the mighty thunderbird, giant two-headed serpents and other supernatural beings have shaped the land.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre – where rivers, mountains and people meet – embodies the spirit of partnership between Whistler’s two Native cultures, the Squamish Aboriginal people and the Lil’wat Aboriginal people. Squamish Nation territory extends from North Vancouver through Squamish to Whistler, and Lil’wat Nation territory starts in Whistler and extends north through Pemberton to Mount Currie. Our traditional territories overlap in Whistler. The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, the first of its kind in Canada, offers guests the opportunity to learn about two distinctly different BC First Nations.
The Squamish and Lil’wat people welcome you to our Cultural Centre. We are open to the public daily between 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. We have a deep connection to this land - our people have lived here since time immemorial.
Meet our Squamish and Lil’wat ambassadors. Take a guided or self-guided tour through our museum, exhibits and contemporary galleries. Join us in song and dance. Watch our spectacular 15-minute film showcasing our traditional and modern cultures. Engage in storytelling and make a craft; learn about Salish wool and cedar weaving.
Already a landmark, this magnificent venue is designed in the form of our two traditional dwellings; a Squamish Longhouse and Lil’wat Istken (underground pit dwelling). The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre adds a rich and distinct BC Aboriginal Cultural component to the resort community of Whistler. We are located across the street from the Fairmont Chateau Whistler at 4584 Blackcomb Way.
Visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre website for more information.
Lil'wat Cultural Centre
The Lil’wat Cultural Centre is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30, and is located on the second floor of Úll̓us Community Complex in Mount Currie. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are always happy to answer your questions and tour the exhibits with you.
The centre features displays of Líl̓wat artifacts, regalia, basketry, and contemporary fine art. Vistors can purchase a wide array of handmade crafts and Líl̓wat Nation branded merchandise. The centre is always evolving, bringing in many Elders and cultural resource people throughout the year to add to the Líl̓wat cultural knowledge base. Language reclamation, retention, and revitalization is an important focus of the centre’s work. Drop by and you may learn a word or two in Ucwalmícwts!