Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre, Whistler (Gary Fiegehen/SLCC photo)
Two Coast Salish First Nations – Squamish and Lil’wat – have inhabited the Whistler Valley and surrounding areas for many thousands of years.
Today, visitors to Whistler can explore the two nations’ distinct cultures, histories, practices and beliefs at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, an innovative, architecturally stunning collaborative endeavour.
Designed in the form of a Squamish longhouse and a Lil’wat istken – a traditional pithouse dwelling – the centre features fascinating displays, an istken, an interpretive forest walk, multimedia exhibits, interactive performances and traditional craft making, offering visitors a truly immersive experience of the two nations’ rich cultures.
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre’s café features reasonably priced fare with a First Nations influence. Try venison chili, smoked salmon and bannock panini, or locally sourced purple potato salad.
Aboriginal artifacts and regalia have historical and cultural significance. Do not touch items unless you have been given permission to do so by a knowledgeable guide or local. If possible, also ask permission to take photos; some artifacts such as totem poles have interesting stories, and in asking for permission visitors learn more about the local history.
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