When you are visiting Whistler this winter, make sure you include a trip to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and learn about the local BC First Nations cultures. The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler provides guests the opportunity to experience the distinctive living cultures of two local First Nations. Whistler and the surrounding area is home to the Squamish Aboriginal people and the Lil’wat Aboriginal people.

The Tale of Two Nations

The Squamish Nation territory extends from North Vancouver up through Squamish to Whistler. The Lil’wat Nation territory starts in Whistler and extends north through Pemberton to Mount Currie. The traditional territories overlap in Whistler which is the perfect location for the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is located in the Upper Village, just across from the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. The centre is open in the winter from Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.  Every Tuesday throughout the winter admission to the exhibits and galleries will be by donation.

The centre features a museum, modern gallery, exhibits, gift shop, café, theatre, as well as hourly cultural performances and guided tours with local First Nation Ambassadors.

A new exhibition for this winter is the Lil’wat Nation Weaving Wisdom exhibition. This is a collection of contemporary and traditional cedar woven pieces. The exhibition is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the interesting and spiritual process of weaving that continues today as a result of the guidance, inspiration, and dedication of many in the Nations.  The Lil’wat Nation is highly regarded for basketry and weaving.  Works within the exhibit include baby cradles, trays and berry baskets.

Visit the Gift Shop and Cafe

As well as the museum and exhibits, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre features a gift shop and cafe. Both the gift shop and cafe can be accessed without paying the admission fee to the centre.  This is a great place to find the perfect Whistler gift that will be unique and special.  The gift shop is now also available online at shop.slcc.ca. You can browse and purchase some amazing First Nation art work from local and regional artists.

The cafe at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural is located between the Istken Hall and the Giftshop.  Try some indigenous inspired cuisine such as Squamish salmon chowder or Lil’wat venison chilli and of course you have to try the Bannock. The cafe is kid friendly and features a children’s reading, colouring and play zone.

For more information, view the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre website.

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