December 04, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Lillooet, Historic & Heritage Sites
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Last month, my friends and I were invited to sample a set of three new cultural mini-tours that are being developed by the St’at’imc Nation in Lillooet
. The St'át'imc are the original inhabitants of the territory that includes Lillooet and ten other communities in the surrounding area.
If you’ve never been to this part of BC before, it’s an area of stark contrasts – particularly if you approach it along Highway 99 from Vancouver as we did. In a matter of just four hours, the highway traverses coastline, rainforests, mountain valleys, mountain passes, and glaciers before descending into an arid and dramatically scenic land of rugged canyons, mountains and plateaus that surround Lillooet and the mighty Fraser River.
As I pass through these varying landscapes, I’m always mindful of the fact that there was a time when the inhabitants of this land thrived without such things as automobiles, electricity and other modern-day conveniences… they thrived by learning to live harmoniously with the land. Fortunately, much of this wisdom has been passed from generation to generation. And in 2007, when the St’at’imc cultural tours become available to the public, visitors will be invited to gain some fascinating insight into these traditions.
The sample day-tour that we were invited to participate in consisted of three segments. The first was a narrated walk around the Lower Seton River Spawning Channel, situated just outside of town. Our guide Jennifer enthusiastically shared her wealth of knowledge on the history of the channel and explained some the many uses of the area’s local plants.
After the spawning channel tour, we made our way over to the Julianne Hall for a wonderful theatrical performance that included traditional singing and dancing. This was accompanied by a lunch feast of such treats as Smoked Salmon Pate or Herb-Roasted Venison on Fresh Baked Bannock, Venison - Barley Soup, and White Cake w