In the Presence of Ancestors: Musqueam
Artist Talk with Debra Sparrow (θəliχʷəlʷət) this Thursday, June 17, at 7pm
In the Presence of Ancestors: Musqueam is in partnership with the Port Moody Ecological Society, curated bye Tasha Faye Evans.
**Once you have registered, you will receive a Zoom link**
Debra Sparrow, θəliχʷəlʷət (Thelliawhatlwit), was born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve. She is self-taught in Salish design, weaving and jewellery-making. An acclaimed weaver, Debra has been deeply involved with the revival of the Musqueam weaving tradition for more than 30 years. Her artwork is exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver International Airport, the Royal BC Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the Burke Museum in Seattle, and the Smithsonian. In 2008, Debra received the BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art. In 2010, she designed the logo for the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, held in Vancouver.
In 2018, Debra was instrumental in creating the “Blanketing the City” mural series—a part of the Vancouver Mural Festival. For it, she created three giant murals that showcase Musqueam weaving patterns and acknowledge the visual culture of the people whose unceded territory viewers are on. Debra continues to create from her home in Musqueam. She is also a teacher, having taught Salish weaving to hundreds of people of all ages, and she continues to educate others about the history and culture, beauty and integrity of her peoples through her artwork, activism, and speaking engagements.
Thu Jun 17: Artist Talk with Debra Sparrow (θəliχʷəlʷət) from 7pm via Zoom.
Sun Jun 13: Weaving Workshop with Debra Sparrow
Mon Jun 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day – Honouring Musqueam from 1 – 4pm at the Noons Creek Hatchery
These lands and waters, currently known as Port Moody, have been cared for by a long legacy of ancestors since time immemorial. These ancestors include the people of Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səlilwətaɬ, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm, and the S’ólh Téméxw. While each of these Nations are unique with their own songs, histories, and languages, they all share in a sacred responsibility to care for the future of these lands and waters. In partnership with the Port Moody Ecological Society, Coast Salish artist Tasha Faye Evans is curating a commission of house posts to be carved by artists from five of these Nations. This collection of house posts will be raised along Port Moody’s iconic Shoreline trail and be called, “In the Presence of Ancestors”. Each house post will raised to watch over these lands and waters and be life-long reminders to current residents of our shared and sacred responsibility to join the legacy of ancestors caring for the future of all of our relations.
As each house post is carved, the artist will be in residence at the Noons Creek hatchery and will be supported by a program of Knowledge Keepers and artists to highlight each Nation and their history in these lands.
This Spring, we are focusing on Musqueam. Beginning in April, carver Chrystal Sparrow will be artist in residence. Her house post and creative process will be supported by a program of vibrant artists and Knowledge Keepers sharing Musqueam history, culture and visions for the future.
In the fall, we look forward to hosting Xwalacktun OBC from Squamish Nation. There will be a program of Squamish artists and Knowledge Keepers throughout the fall and next spring.
In 2019, Brandon Gabriel carved the “Spirit of Kwikwetlem” in collaboration with Kwiwkwetlem Elders and youth. Currently, Tsleil Waututh artist Zachary George is carving “Grandmother’s Prayer”.
All house posts will be raised in ceremony by June 21, 2023.
Acknowledging that we are on the unceded, occupied, ancestral and traditional lands of the Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Stó:lō Nations