SQ’ÉWLETS: A Stó:lō–Coast Salish Community in the Fraser River Valley
On display November 2, 2017–April 28, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday November 2, 2017, 7:00pm-9:00pm (all are welcome)
At the confluence of the Fraser and Harrison Rivers, the Sq’éwlets community have lived and prospered for thousands of years. This exhibition is based on a significant virtual museum, and shares the history and perspectives of the Sq’éwlets people from their ancient origins, up to the present day. At the heart of the exhibition is a community biography, telling the story of what it means to be a Sq’éwlets person and community member in the 21st century.
Three main themes guide the visitor experience. Stámés (about), serves as an introduction to Sq’éwlets culture and the Halq’eméylem language. Sxwōxwiyám (origin stories) is focused on history and teaches visitors about the foundation of Stó:lō and Sq’éwlets people through oral histories. The last section explores the more recent past with sqwélqwel (true news), and includes a series of short documentaries, as well as photos, and examples of material culture that belong to the community. The Halq’eméylem language is prominently featured throughout the presentation.
Previous iterations of the exhibition were held at the Bill Reid Centre at Simon Fraser University, and The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford.
This exhibition was produced in partnership with the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre in collaboration with the Sq’éwlets First Nation.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Cultural Advisors Grand Chief Clarence Pennier, Sq’éwlets First Nation, and David M. Schaepe, Director & Senior Archaeologist, Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre, Stó:lō Nation, and Kate Hennessy, Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University for bringing this project to Chilliwack.
The full virtual museum will be available in the exhibition. The website was produced by the Sq’éwlets First Nation in collaboration with the Stó:lō Resource and Research Management Centre at Stó:lō Nation, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and additional partners.
We encourage you to visit the Sq’éwlets website.
“We have to learn together to live together in a good way” is a lesson that rings as true today as it did during the first contact between early European settlers and Aboriginal Peoples. The exhibit, based on the lesson by Stone T’xwelátsé: an ancestor of the Stó:lō, encourages visitors to imagine what the meeting of these two world viewpoints resulted in as thousands of newcomers gathered in the Chilliwack area during the 1858 gold rush.