NDTR – A statement from SLCC Ambassadors
September 30th is the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
Thursday September 30th is not a national holiday to recognize the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools. Everyone is encouraged to reflect on the intergenerational harm that residential schools have caused Indigenous families and communities, and to honour those who have been affected by this injustice.
REFLECT. RECOGNIZE. HONOUR. LEARN.
For the Skwxwú7mesh Lilwat7úl Cultural Centre, this is why we exist. Our beams raised up by our Elders. Shared with our voices. We are here for a purpose, because our culture was silenced for so long. Because children were stolen, never to learn their language, the love of their family, and never to return home. Their bodies left unmarked in the ground. Our future, our culture, our language left with them. We hear them calling to us each day, and we wake up each morning with our ancestors at our doorsteps beckoning us to travel to Cwítima, commute to Skwikw (known to you as Whistler), continue the work, share the stories, learn the songs, revive and reclaim what was lost.
This is why Indigenous Cultural Centres are rising up all around Turtle Island. This is our purpose, because they made who we are illegal – everything stored in our museum, everything yet to be found. Illegal. Our carvings, weavings, masks, clothes, and tools, stolen as prizes for the attics and mantles of the colonizer. Mothers and fathers jailed if they did not give up their children, their culture, their language, their existence.
Despite oppression, we endured. In secret ceremonies under the cover of caves, night, or wilderness. With lookouts and signals, and brave perseverance, we held on.
The SLCC exists because they tried to erase us, and we endured.
This is part of the truth. Our strength. Our knowledge. The healing call of the land, the drum, the river, and the songs.
‘They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds.’
We invite you to make the Skwxwú7mesh Lilwat7úl Cultural Centre in Whistler part of your journey to understanding the Frist People of the Sea to Sky. Reflect on our history. Connect to the land.
Whether you visit us on September 30th, or come through our doors this week, we are here to welcome you. We have a story to tell.