Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) is the first centre of its kind in Canada, located on the shared, traditional territories of the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation. Two nations came together to celebrate and share their cultures with the world while creating meaningful employment opportunities for members of both the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation, Coast Salish) and Líl̓wat7úl (Lil’wat Nation, Interior Salish) Nations. Designed to evoke the form of a Squamish Longhouse and Lil’wat Istken (earthen dwelling), the SLCC embodies the spirit of partnership between two unique Nations who wish to preserve, grow, and share their traditional cultures.

Exhibitions & Tours

The Cultural Centre displays both permanent and temporary exhibitions which showcase the many aspects of the Squamish and Lil’wat cultural history, traditions and practices from ancient times to modern day. Daily, guided tours and seasonal, feature tours are also included with general admission.

Permanent Exhibit

What We Treasure

The permanent exhibit is dedicated to the core of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and Líl̓wat7úl (Lil’wat Nation) culture; ceremony, language, regalia, and stories told through different mediums. They honour the legacy of their Ancestors by creating objects vital to their culture and each piece is infused with the history of their families. The collection features baskets, blankets, canoes, carvings (also known as totem poles), drums, tools, and regalia (traditional clothing).

Current Special Exhibits

Fighting for Justice – On the Coast | Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Lil̓wat7úl

Date: January 27 – March 31, 2024
Description: Both the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation have been working since the arrival of Europeans to protect their rights interests in their own territory. The introduction of the Indian Act and its many amendments by the Federal Government have attempted to prevent the nations from having their voices heard. As a collective, Indigenous People have made many groups such as the Allied Tribes of British Columbia, the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia, and the Indian Chiefs of British Columbia to lobby for Indigenous rights. When every peaceful door was shut down to them they resorted to protests and roadblocks. In recent times, using art and ceremony to build relationships with non-Indigenous peoples has also gained a lot of momentum. Indigenous languages, names, and ways of being are both recognized and accepted in their own territories by non-Indigenous peoples but the ties to colonial names persist. This exhibition only tells a few stories of the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations fighting for justice for their people and land, and shares this history through a travelling exhibit from Vancouver Island University.

100 Years of Unity

Date: July 22, 2023 – May 31, 2024
Description: This exhibition celebrates 100 Years of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) honouring the date that sixteen villages came together as the Squamish Amalgamation on July 23, 1923. Curated by Tsawaysia Dominique Nahanee (Squamish Nation) and assisted by Mixalhítsa7 Alison Pascal (Lil’wat Nation), displays include weaving, carving and historical artifacts, giving viewers an overview of the history of the Squamish Nation, connection to land throughout the territory, Siy̓ám̓ – Hereditary Chieftainship and today’s elected council members and their roles and responsibilities listening to the voice of their people and representation to benefit the community as a whole. Guests can also experience live carving with Master Carver Xwalacktun at the entrance to the SLCC’s Great Hall, as he carves a house post.

Hourly Guided Tours

These guided tours are offered on the hour, every hour, from 10 AM – 4 PM daily. Friendly Cultural Ambassadors from both the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations share their culture and knowledge in this immersive cultural centre. The hourly guided tour includes a traditional welcome song, fifteen minute film and exhibit tour. General Admission includes access to the galleries and exhibits throughout the main level (Great Hall) and mezzanine. After the tour, guests are encouraged to revisit areas of the museum that piqued their interest.

Other Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre highlights include:

  • Permanent and temporary exhibits from the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations
  • Seasonal Live Demonstrations of weaving, carving, cedar prepping, and other cultural regenerative activities
  • An outdoor Lil'wat Istken (earthen dwelling) and Squamish Longhouse
  • An interpretive forest walk along the Salish Stroll, available from May to September
  • Hands-on activities with SLCC Cultural Ambassadors. One-on-one, led crafts where you make your own medicine bag, dream catcher, drum, and other traditional crafts. Throughout the process, Ambassadors share the stories and significance of the craft. Offered seasonally, or through special events or private tours.
  • A theatre showcasing a 15-minute film
  • Whistler’s largest First Nations gift shop, offering products authentic and unique to the Squamish, Lil'wat, and other First Nations peoples of Canada
  • Thunderbird Café, an indigenous-inspired eatery in the SLCC’s admission-free area
  • The gift shop and Thunderbird café can be accessed without paying the admission fee to the SLCC, making it the perfect place in Whistler to pick up a memorable gift

Admission

  • Adult (26-64): $20
  • Child (6-18): $7
  • Child (5 and under): Free
  • Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children under 18 years): $45

When to Visit

Weekdays Hours Weekends Hours
Monday Closed Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Tuesday 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday 10 AM – 5 PM
Wednesday 10 AM – 5 PM
Thursday 10 AM – 5 PM    
Friday 10 AM – 5 PM    
  • Thunderbird Café open 10 AM – 4 PM, Tuesday to Sunday.

Location

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre is located in the Upper Village at 4584 Blackcomb Way. Limited parking is available onsite; additional parking is available along Blackcomb Way and in the Day Lots.

View Map of Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre

Whistler Cultural Pass – $30 per person

The Whistler Cultural Pass provides access to the Audain Art Museum as well as the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre at a reduced price. Save up to 20% when you purchase tickets as a dual admission pass.

Please note that the Audain Art Museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre is closed on Mondays. Passes are not dated and can be used at any time.

*Hours of operation and admission prices subject to change.

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Photos of the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre