2019 marked the third year of Honouring Reconciliation, a program to honour the experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, facilitate learning and promote understanding of our shared history. 

Learn about first two years of this program: Honouring Reconciliation 2017Honouring Reconciliation 2018.  

We acknowledge the Squamish Nation, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and the Musqueam People, who since time immemorial have lived on the land now referred to as the Greater Vancouver and Sea to Sky regions.



Sch’etxw tl’a snewíyelh: Kwu7s iy S7áynixw/Panel of Knowledge: Tyee Salmon and Eulachonwas commissioned by the Library as part of its Honouring Reconciliation initiative. The purpose of the commission was to create a work that reflects and interprets the rich culture of the Squamish Peoples and to promote reconciliation and respectful relationships in West Vancouver.

The selected artist, Wade Baker, is a sculptor, carver, graphic designer and oral storyteller who lives in Eslhá7an village, which is located in North Vancouver. His Salish name is Halikium, meaning “person who travels far.” As a descendent of ancient Squamish, Musqueam, Kwakiutl, and Tlingit nobility, Wade inherited a rich artistic legacy that goes back hundreds of generations.

This art panel, displayed in the McDonald Creek Meeting Room, depicts both male (hooked nose) and female Tyee salmon swimming in unison with a school of eulachon smelt. The Tyee, translated as “the Chief,” represents the community’s knowledge keepers as they guide and mentor the eulachon, which represent the learners. The eulachon have long been a symbol of prosperity, as they feed the salmon and are thus essential to the life of the community.

Powerful teachings are embedded within the stories and artistic elements of the Coast Salish Peoples. Panel of Knowledge: Tyee Salmon and Eulachon is inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds the nearby Ch’tl’am Swa7lt/McDonald Creek and the Library—a gathering place for learners and knowledge keepers in the community.

Watch a video of the unveiling event here:


Funding for this art commission generously provided by the WVML Friends of the Library

Honouring Reconciliation: Ambleside by Canoe

Chi’ch’iyuy canoeIn honour of National Indigenous History Month, a guided canoe paddle aboard Chi’ch’iyuy canoe was held on the waters around Ch’tl’am (Ambleside) — with participation from members of the Squamish Nation, including Chief Janice George and Wes Nahanee. Between and during paddles, we had stories, bannock and tea on the shore. 

Presented in partnership with the West Vancouver Police Department.  


Indigenous Plant walk

Hands holding Indigenous plant materialEthnobotanist Leigh Joseph of the Squamish Nation held a program on coastal Indigenous plants. Starting with a workshop at Sk'iwitsut House, Lighthouse Park, followed by an hour-long walk through the park, people learned about reconnecting to the land through Indigenous plant practices. 


British Columbia Library Association's (BCLA) Building Better Communities Award 

Chief Janice George, Pat Cumming, Charlene SewardHonouring Reconcilation received BCLA's 2019 Building Better Communities Award. Accepting the award on behalf of Members of the Squamish Nation, Reconciliation Canada and West Vancouver Memorial Library on May 10, (pictured from left to right): Chief Janice George, Cultual Advisor to the Library; Pat Cumming, Head of Customer and Community Experience and Charlene Seward, Director of Program Develpoment, Reconciliaton Canada, with Jillian Stirk, Board Chair; Jenny Benedict, Director, and Lynn Brockington, Community Experience Coordinator.  



Chepximiya Siyam’ / Chief Janice George, Cultural Program Advisor
Chepximiya Siyam’ / Chief Janice George is a master weaver and teaching artist from the Squamish Nation. She graduated from Capilano University, and the Institute of American Indian Arts. She feels her education at these schools helped her excel as a teacher, adding to her most important traditional teachings. She is a hereditary chief, trained museum curator and educator. Janice has integrated the Squamish teachings from Late Grandmother Kwitelut-t Lena Jacobs who was directly connected to pre-contact times, and other Squamish ancestors into her teachings. George states, “In this short time of my weaving life a few of my mentors have left this Earth, their breath is carried on in the teachings I pass on. I feel and see the pride that comes from reclaiming our inheritance from our elders and ancestors when we weave and when we wear our beloved weavings. We are taught spiritual protection is part of what we are wearing and feel the love that is put in each hand movement it takes to make a robe.”
Leigh Joseph
Leigh Joseph (Styawat) is a member of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation. An ethnobotanist by training, she completed her Masters of Science in Ethnobotany at the University of Victoria under the guidance of Dr. Nancy Turner, Dr. Trevor Lantz and members of the Skwxwú7mesh family and community. Her interest in the relationship between food and culture developed at an early age and instilled in her a deep respect for the natural world. She has worked with a number of First Nations communities, with her work largely focusing on traditional knowledge renewal and building connections to place and to health through working with traditional plant foods and medicines.