In 2016, the Elders at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation begun a new weaving project with Squamish artist Tracy Williams, building on their knowledge of weaving practices and natural dyes. In 2018 they are set to build on their learning with Roxanne Charles, who is a mixed media artist from Semiahmoo First Nation.
For more information about the Arts and Health Elder’s group at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, please contact Jen Thomas.
Tsleil-Waututh Nation Cultural and Recreation Centre
3010 Sleil Waututh Rd
North Vancouver, BC V7H 2V5
2013 - Present
“The intention behind gift giving is to share the community and Nation’s wealth with guests, honouring the presence of people who come to witness any work that takes place and the travel and time commitments it took to get there. Gifting and giveaways acknowledge that a guest’s presence is important and that the community has taken time to host properly. It also calls on the person accepting the gift to recall and be willing to speak to others that what they witnessed at the event, and that it was done in a culturally appropriate manner.”
"Programs like this really bring the participants together and gives them the chance to pass on what they learn. They are able to create something unique and teach others how to do the same. This is a first time experience for some participants and they really become a team through it.”
"The girls group on the reserve is being mentored by the Elders. They have joined the Elders on several occasions and are making jewelry and appliqued purses. We all call them "Elders in Training.”
"The project provides a safe environment for people to come together and create."
"The project creates a real sense of unity …to be able to create things together. Getting to know each other better helps us become closer as a community, and bringing the community together like this is an important thing to do."
"Making art is a great stress release."
From 2014-2016, Elders at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation worked with Una-Ann Moyer, a Tahltan/Tlingit Artist, Intern Tsleil-Waututh Nation Artist Norman George, and Kari Chambers, the Tsleil-Waututh Elders Coordinator.
The group explored traditional culture & designs, focusing on creating contemporary works that reflect traditional designs. Together they painted canvases, sewed a collaborative button blanket, sewed mocassins and vests, and wove. Seasonal crafts were also exhibited in the Tsleil Waututh Nation Elders Community Exhibition every winter, and gifts made for ceremonies throughout the year.