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Weetama welcomes one and all



Ten-day festival of First Nations culture kicks off Friday

What: Weetama

Where: Throughout Whistler

When: Friday, Aug. 8-Sunday, Aug. 17

If you’re tired of serving up the same old meals, or trying to perfect that modern dance move, perhaps you need to take a leaf out of Whistler’s Aboriginal neighbours' books and go more traditional.

For the next 10 days Whistler will come alive with native Northwest cultural celebrations. From authentic cooking to spiritual dancing. From traditional workshops to modern day award ceremonies, Weetama will have something for everyone.

Your hosts for the event are the Lil’wat Nation (Mount Currie Band) and the Squamish Nation, and for the past few months they’ve been passionately working behind the scenes to bring this growing annual attraction to people from around the world.

Every day there’ll be a variety of performances in song and dance, educational workshops and intriguing cultural demonstrations. Guest speakers will share their history, traditions and wisdom through a variety of talks and presentations.

Interactive interpretive stations will be positioned throughout the village showcasing weaving, bentwood box-making, salmon fishing and preparation and more. Watch the experts, learn, ask questions and have a hands-on go at ways of life passed down for thousands of years.

Experience a potlatch dinner in a traditional cedar log house. Journey up a river in a war canoe and look to the earth for medicinal and herbal recipes that belie modern science.

Schedules for all events can be found at stations set up around the village. Rebaliati Park, on the banks of the Fitzsimmons Creek, and the Village Square will be the settings for most of the action but your best bet is to obtain the program telling you what’s on and where.

Who’s Who at Weetama

Squamish Nation

In 1923, 16 Squamish-speaking tribes amalgamated into one unit called the "Squamish Band" to guarantee equality to all Squamish tribes and to ensure good government.

The Squamish people lived in villages on both sides of the Squamish River and its creeks, in the Howe Sound area, Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm. They travelled seasonally throughout their traditional territory, including Burrard Inlet to fish, and gathered clams at such places as Jericho Beach, False Creek, English Bay and Port Moody. Gradually, some made this area into their year-round homes. These settlements were made in areas such as Stanley Park, near the Granville Street Bridge and in other areas of Burrard Inlet.

Lil'wat Nation (Mount Currie Band)

The Lil’wat Nation is one of 11 tribes that make up the Stl’atl’imx Nation. Most of the Stl’atl’imx Nation reside in the Interior Plateau of B.C. The Lil’wat are an exception, residing in the Mount Currie area about a 30 minute drive north of Whistler.