Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (Whistler, BC)
Contrary to what you might suspect, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is NOT in Squamish. I made the mistake of thinking it was, but it’s not. It’s actually extremely close to the Upper Village in Whistler, BC, as indicated by Tourism Whistler’s page about the SLCC. And it’s an amazingly beautiful cultural centre, I might add. An exemplary showcase of two cultures that share one land.
I have always had a soft spot for showcasing First Nations’ culture and activities, particularly because I find a significant contribution to Mexican culture has come from the indigenous people who lived in what we have come to know as Mexico now, and I imagine that’s also been the case in Canada. Last year I wrote a little bit about the salmon ecosystem conservation efforts of the Musqueam Nation, and I try to highlight First Nations cultural festivals, like the Louis Riel Festival, a celebration of Métis culture. I did a bit of research on how the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre came to exist:
In 1997 the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) met with the Lil’wat Nation to consult about opportunities for the Nation’s participation and presence in Whistler BC. Out of these discussions, the idea of a world-class cultural centre was born and a relationship in the spirit of goodwill and cooperation evolved.
In 1999 the Lil’wat Nation met with the Squamish Nation to discuss issues of land use and planning in areas of traditional territory overlap. As a result, in 2001 the two Nations signed a Protocol Agreement, which formalized our mutual relationship. This historic Protocol Agreement commits us to continued co-operation in matters of cultural and economic development, and co-management of shared territory. The only agreement of its kind in Canada, the Protocol Agreement (link protocol agreement to S 9.0.1), which formalized our mutual relationship.
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler BC, where mountains, rivers and people meet, embodies the spirit of partnership between our two Nations and our shared values around preserving and sharing their traditional cultures.
I wish I had taken advantage of the little café within the Cultural Centre, as some of the offerings sounded really tasty (fresh wild salmon, anyone?).
I found it fascinating that so much effort was put into blending both cultures and showcasing them equally. I also watched a beautiful 15 minute video about the SLCC that is included in the guided tour (JT and I joined for a bit of the tour, but mostly we walked through the facility on our own).
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is a beautiful showcase (and a green building to boot too, with a LEED certification, from what I read). I spent a lovely time there, and look forward to coming back at some point soon. You should definitely visit if you ever get the chance.
Disclosure: I toured the SLCC along with my guest compliments of the Centre, as part of my recent trip to Whistler to check out what to do when you’re not a winter sports person. I wasn’t paid to write this review, nor was I required to do so either. The purpose of this blog entry is just to describe and document my experience visiting the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (and I strongly recommend my readers to do so). In any review I write or publish on my site, I retain editorial control at all times. Should you have any questions/concern feel free to contact me via e-mail through my contact form.
- Annual Flag Stop Theatre & Arts Festival (August 11th) by The Point Artist-Run Centre Society at Alta Lake, Whistler, BC
- Whistler Intercultural Forums and Festival 2012 (Whistler, BC)
- What to do in Whistler when you’re not a snow sports person
- The Whistler Village (Whistler, BC)
- Whistler Creekside (Whistler, BC)