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Xwaaqw’um Snuhwulh Canoe Launch

    Indigenous News, People & Places    September 30, 2018

After almost 6 months of work, the Xwaaqw’um Snuhwulh (canoe) was launched today to the delight of all the relations who joined to celebrate the launch. Dancing, songs and ceremony were led by local elder Tousilum (Ron George). The new Snuhwulh (Canoe) was named Xwaaqw’um and given to elder Tousilum as a gift for years […]

Interpretive Panels Moves Forward with Boost from Heritage Legacy Fund

    Art & Design, Indigenous News, People & Places, Travel & Transportation    July 3, 2018

Island Pathways is receiving a much-needed boost of $4100 to support its interpretive panels program, which will highlight the history of heritage locations and building along the Ganges Village Pathway Network. The funding comes through the Heritage Legacy Fund, the only provincial grant program that supports heritage conservation, awareness, planning and Indigenous partnership projects. Island […]

Work Progressing on the Xwaaqw’um Big Canoe – Carver’s Host Fernwood Nature Class Visits

    Indigenous News, People & Places    June 1, 2018

The 32’ foot-long snuhwulh (big canoe), carved from a single 710 year old X’pey (western red cedar tree) downed in a river valley windstorm will be finished over the next month or so for the Xwaaqw’um Project (aka Burgoyne Bay). “The Hul’q’umi’num word for canoe is snuhwulh, which means to transport people,” says Joe Akerman, local community organizer for the Xwaaqw’um Project […]

Salish Sea Featured in Latest Langscape Magazine

    Indigenous News    December 21, 2017

“Reconnection and Reconciliation in the Salish Sea, Pacific Northwest” is the specially featured section in the Winter 2017 issue of Langscape Magazine. Three writers from around the Salish Sea region contributed stories to this section. On Salt Spring Island, Joe Akerman comes home—literally and metaphorically—to Hwaaqw’um, a village site of his Quw’utsun (Coast Salish) ancestors, […]

An introduction to First Nations’ history in the Gulf Islands

    Indigenous News    June 20, 2017

The east coast of Vancouver Island is a rolling forested plain that narrows towards the south where the mountainous spine of the island edges towards the sea, and two rivers, the Cowichan and Chemainus, drain the ancient forests through valleys and fertile deltas. Offshore, a maze of smaller islands forms a seemingly impassable wall along […]

Photos and Video: 2017 National Aboriginal Day at Xwaaqw’um

    Indigenous News    June 19, 2017

Local community and First Nations gathered this past weekend to celebrate National Aboriginal and Father’s Day at Xwaaqw’um Beach (Burgoyne Bay). The family friendly cultural gathering was a celebration and learning about Coast Salish culture and traditions to nurture “Sound Relations” between settlers and First Nations peoples. The gathering included stories from the land, Tzinquaw […]

BC Ferries Unveils New Long Harbour Ferry Hull Wrap

    Indigenous News, News & Events, Travel & Transportation    April 13, 2017

Today at BC Ferries’ Richmond refit facility, the wrap adorning the hull of Salish Eagle was unveiled to Stz’uminus First Nation’s John Marston, who designed the artwork that was revealed last September. Coast Salish artist John Marston’s bold depiction of beautiful red eagles adorning the hull of the new vessel represents the strength and respect […]

Videos and Photos: Xwaaqw’um (Burgoyne Bay) Welcome Pole Unveiling Ceremony

    Indigenous News    August 22, 2016

Four generations of Quw’utsun Tzinquaw Dancers danced the unveiling of the new Xwaaqw’um (Burgoyne Bay) Welcome Poles carved by local Cowichan Master Carver Harold Joe this past Saturday on Salt Spring Island. The ceremony attended by over 200 locals, family, friends and relatives of Hul’qumi’num community members was an unprecedented event in the recent colonial […]

Tsuhatluts, The Dangerous, Fierce, Powerful being of Salt Spring Island

    Indigenous News    July 20, 2016

Salt Spring Island is famous for many things— the Saturday market, the scenery, the cheese, the beer and a woman who tried to abduct children and eat them. Many years ago at the north end of the island there was a small village at P’q’unup (“white shell ground”) with a healthy population of young children. […]

Power and Lightning on the Mountain – The Indigenous Story of Mount Tuam

    Indigenous News, Local News    May 3, 2016

Dominating the southwest end of Salt Spring Island is Mount Tuam, another distinctive iconic island landscape and the only local placename to retain a semblance of the original SENCOTLEN and Hul’q’umi’num’ word—CUAN or Ts’uween (pronounced “ts – uWHlAN” approximately). The word is descriptive and refers to the steep terrain that seems to come straight down […]

Snuw’uyulh and the Sansum Narrows Monster

    Indigenous News, People & Places    February 29, 2016

An important part of snuw’uyulh (putting the thought in the child’s head/cultural teachings) is sxwi’em’ (“sh-why-m” approximately)— a great Hul’q’umi’num’/Sencotlen word that describes ancient times, places in the landscape, and narratives. The root of the word is “change” or “transformation” —the only constant thing in the universe. These stories are connected to landscapes that by […]

Indigenous History of Salt Spring Island

    Indigenous News, News & Events, People & Places    February 3, 2016

In this series we will look at the Indigenous history of Salt Spring Island from the perspective of snuwuyulh (“snuh-WHY-ulth” approximately)—a Hul’q’umi’num’ word broadly translated as “cultural teachings.” The word has a literal meaning of “putting the thought into the child’s head”—a reference to a learning process that occurred from an early, indeed, prenatal stage […]

Video: Kanaka-Salish Family of Isabella Point

    Indigenous News, People & Places    January 18, 2016

Chris Arnett gives a talk at the Salt Spring Historical Society. He draws on many years of research and oral history. Archival photos and maps help illustrate local landmarks and significant historical events in the lives of Salt Spring’s First Nations families, Hawaiian and European settlers. Video: Peter Prince / saltspringvideo

Video: The Archeology of Shiya’hwt (Ganges)

    Indigenous News, Local News    December 9, 2015

Learn more about this town of ‘Ganges’ that we live in and around on Salt Spring Island. Archeologist Chris Arnett recalls the fascinating First Nations history of Ganges Village, known by the name of Shiya’hwt to its original inhabitants. For thousands of years Coast Salish people carried on their cultural traditions and harvested the areas […]

Video: Grace Islet Benefit Concert

    Indigenous News, News & Events, Photos & Videos    November 28, 2014

On Saturday Nov. 22 a special Benefit Concert and Silent Auction was held to help protect Grace Islet, the First Nations burial ground in Ganges Harbour that is being desecrated by construction of a private home. Opened with a traditional prayer by highly respected Elder Luschiim (Arvid Charlie) and a song by his nephew Louis […]

First Nations History of Shiya’hwt (Ganges Village)

    Indigenous News, Photos & Videos    November 11, 2014

Archeologist Chris Arnett recalls the fascinating First Nations history of Ganges Village, known by the name of Shiya’hwt to its original inhabitants. For thousands of years Coast Salish people carried on their cultural traditions and harvested the areas abundant resources, until epidemics decimated their population and the coming of the Europeans changed their way of […]

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Community News

  • 2018 Salt Spring Chamber Salty Award Win...

    by on November 9, 2018

    The Salt Spring community came out last night for a beautiful evening to celebrate local businesses, people, places and the many charms of Salt Spring Island. After numerous years of experimenting with the format for honouring local businesses and people, the Salt Spring Chamber really seems to have struck a nice rhythm of creating a […]

  • Thoughts on My Trial

    by on November 7, 2018

    This last March 23rd, I was arrested protesting in front of Kinder Morgan’s gate in Burnaby — now Trans Mountain Corporation, bought by all Canadians in August for $4.5-billion. I wrote an Exchange piece, published on March 29th, called  “Thoughts on My Arrest”. Time for an update. In Vancouver’s B.C. Supreme Court last week, I […]

  • Forum: From Ferries to Floatplanes

    by on November 7, 2018

    With many new pipeline projects stalled & existing ones running at capacity, oil patch producers are turning increasingly to rail to transport their product. How safe is this? Should we be concerned? What about ferries and floatplanes? Ferry accidents claim thousands of lives in other countries, but not in Canada. Floatplanes are one of the […]

  • Salt Spring’s Firefighters – Lieut...

    by on November 6, 2018

    Raised on Salt Spring by a family that supported the community through a variety of volunteer roles, it was only natural for me to follow that same path of volunteerism. In high school, I was a member of the Youth Coast Guard in Mill Bay. I was a member of the local Land Search and […]

  • Poll: Pro Rep Referendum Vote Mail In Pa...

    by on November 4, 2018

    Local proportional representation advocates gathered this past Saturday to share their support for changing our provincial voting system to a proportional system from our current first past the post system (FPTP). British Columbia is having a referendum on what voting system we should use for provincial elections. The referendum is being held by mail from […]

  • Forum: 2017 Massey Lecturer

    by on November 2, 2018

    The “us versus them” rhetoric increasingly employed by politicians is endangering human rights around the world. What are some of the major human rights struggles of our times, and what we can do about them? Payam Akhavan – renowned human rights scholar, former UN prosecutor at The Hague, and 2017 CBC Massey Lecturer – has […]

  • Leaf Mulch, Clean Bees and Cutworms

    by on November 1, 2018

    Here is my usual seasonal reminder to collect fallen leaves for garden mulching while they are all around us and to be had for free. Do collect enough to mulch the garden for the winter and also to stockpile for mulching next summer. I store leaves for summer use in bags or covered bins, keeping […]

  • How Safe is Your Lovely Roaring Fire?

    by on October 29, 2018

    Did you know that chimney fires are the most common fire emergencies  this time of the year?  – As our weather cools, and you begin enjoying your roaring fire, there are important safety tips you should know. Each year, Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) is called to between 7 and 15 chimney fires. As these fires […]

  • VIDEO: Understanding PR & Electoral ...

    by on October 29, 2018

    In the lead up to the provincial referendum in British Columbia on proportional representation (happening now), the Salt Spring Forum hosted University of British Columbia Professor Max Cameron, a world-leading expert on democratic theory and electoral design. Professor Cameron teaches comparative politics, constitutionalism, and democratization at UBC, where he also directs the Centre for the […]

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