2018 marked the second year of Honouring Reconciliation. As we continued to honour Indigenous peoples in Canada, we expanded our awareness of the strength and resilience Indigenous peoples have shown in the face of intolerance, a lack of understanding and racism. 

Honouring Reconciliation 2017.  

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. 

2018 Programs and Events 

reading Challenge  

WVML Honouring Reconciliation Launch with Charlene Seward, Janice George, Pat CummingExplore a selection of titles from a list curated by Chief Robert Joseph of Reconciliation Canada.  Reading Challenge booklets are available at the Information Desk. Visit our display on the Main Floor. Find Reading Challenge titles in our catalogue. 

Reading Challenge Launch 

A special event celebrating the beginning of the Library's 2018 Honouring Reconciliation: Hearing the Truth program and the launch of the Reading Challenge was held July 5 in the Main Hall of the Library. Chepximiya Siyam' / Chief Janice George of the Squamish Nation (centre) gave a traditional welcome followed by remarks by Charlene Seward of Reconciliation Canada (right). Pat Cumming, West Vancouver Memorial Library, (left).

Image courtesy of Reconciliation Canada.   



Discussions based on the themes of two powerful books, facilitated by Library staff.

Participants read and discussed Richard Wagamese's powerful novel Indian Horse, which portrays the life of an Ojibway man who struggles to find peace by facing his traumatic past, telling his story and taking steps towards healing, and Wab Kinew's intimate memoir The Reason You Walk, in which he shares the story of his relationship with his father, a prominent Anishinaabe Chief and residential school survivor, and their journey of personal and cultural reconciliation. 

  Learning Circles

Learn about, experience first-hand and celebrate local Indigenous culture and traditions in activities led by members of the Squamish Nation.

Indigenous Plant Walk – Ethnobotanist Leigh Joseph gave a workshop on reconnecting with the land through Indigenous plant practices at Sk'iwitsut House, followed by an hour-long walk through Lighthouse Park on Saturday, October 20.  

Indigenous Language Revitalization
Linguist and community member Dr. Peter Jacobs led a talk on Indigenous language revitalization. Tuesday, October 23, 7- 8:30 p.m., Welsh Hall. 

Coast Salish Wool Weaving Workshop
Accomplished weavers and instructors Chepximiya Siyam' Janice George and Skwetsimeltxw Willard 'Buddy' Joseph gave an introductory workshop on traditinal wool weaving techniques and traditions on Saturday, November 17.


An opportunity to experience Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective.  

Developed by KAIROS Canada, this participatory exercise covers over 500 years of history. Led by Charlene Seward, this event was held September 18, 6:30 p.m.  


A Community Film Screening of Indian Horse, an adaptation of Richard Wagamese's award-winning novel. 

This moving film sheds light on the dark history of Canada's Residential Schools and the indomitable spirit of Indigenous peoples. 

Traditional welcome from Chief Janice George and ceremonial song and dance performance by Bob Baker and The Eagle Song Dancers, Spakwus Slulum

This event was presented by West Vancouver Memorial Library and Kay Meek Arts Centre on September 27 at the Kay Meek Theatre. 

In the Art Gallery

Connections Through Traditions imagesConnections Through Traditions: works by artists Kwakwee Baker and Spelexílh Anjeanette Dawson.

July – August 2018.

Spelexílh Anjeanette Dawson is a Squamish educator and wool weaver. In addition to working with local elementary schools, she has taught cedar basket and weaving classes throughout the Lower Mainland. Her blankets, headbands and memorial sashes have been commissioned for private collections as well as for ceremonial purposes. Spelexílh created a Coast Salish shawl for the opening ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Kwakwee Baker is an Indigenous multimedia artist based in West Vancouver. Born in Morocco, and of Squamish, Kwaguilth, Tlingit-Haida and Celtic descent, Kwakwee creates art that incorporates his diverse travels and cultural experiences. In addition to carving wooden masks and totem poles in cedar, Kwakwee also transforms and applies Indigenous detail to skateboards, cars and apparel.

Presented in partnership with the Ferry Building Gallery.

Program Participants

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.”
Charlene Seward
Charlene Seward is a proud member of the Squamish Nation. She brings almost a decade of experience working and volunteering with local non-profit organizations and small businesses. She is wholly dedicated to First Nations rights, reconciliation and food sovereignty. Char's role with Reconciliation Canada involves acting as a facilitator for the Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops, she is a speaker and manages community engagement all throughout the country.
Peter Jacobs
Peter Jacobs is a member of the Squamish Nation and has learnt the Squamish language as an adult. On his mother's side he is Kwagulh from Fort Rupert. He worked for the Squamish Nation Education Department for over 20 years, and the University of Victoria for five years. His is now on faculty in the Department of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University. His primary research project has been the development of a comprehensive dictionary on the Squamish language and the publication of the dictionary. He is currently leading a team in the development of an electronic version of the dictionary. He has taught the Squamish language in a public high school in North Vancouver and in college and now in university classes. He is part of a six year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council project on the role of adult learners of their Indigenous language in language revitalization. The partners for this project are from Indigenous communities across Canada.
Leigh Joseph (Styawat)
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.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Bentwood Box

Bentwood Box Image: Carved by Coast Salish artist Luke Marston, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Bentwood Box is a lasting tribute to all Indian Residential School Survivors. The carved panels represent the unique cultures of former First Nations, Inuit and Métis