The cedar tree is recognized by the Sto:lo people as their ancestor, in the same way the sturgeon and mountains are.
That’s the kind of tidbit you might pick up at the next Cultural Experience Series event in the Sto:lo Resource Centre on Aug. 11.
Next Saturday afternoon, Master cedar weaver Wendy Ritchie from Skowkale will be telling stories about the origins of the cedar tree, and sharing the teachings of Xe’pay, an ancient Sto:lo ancestor.
“It’s our seventh cultural event in the past year,” says organizer Francine Douglas. “It keeps growing each time.”
The last event hosted by Sto:lo Nation attracted 75 people who were looking for the emphasis on fostering community, understanding and a shared cultural experience.
“Wendy is an amazing storyteller and cedar bark artist,” said Douglas. “She’ll be sharing what’s she learned from her family and elders.”
The focus is on the history and cultural importance of cedar trees to local First Nations.
The day starts with a traditional welcome address and welcome song, followed by storytelling and aboriginal teachings, then at noon it’s a traditional salmon and bannock dinner by donation.
At 1 p.m. the session with the master cedar weaver begins, with a cedar craft like a bracelet being made by everyone at the end of it.
“Many of our artists are very knowledgeable about the teachings and our culture, as well as working with the land and resources.
“This series has been a way to invite the public to hear directly from our artists.”
Everyone is welcome.
It’s geared to those interested in learning more about the Sto:lo people and aboriginal culture, and half of the attendees are usually first-time visitors to the resource centre, she added.
Cultural Experience Series, Cedar and Xe’pay on Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at #10 – 7201 Vedder Road. For more details email Francine.Douglas@stolonation.bc.ca or 604-316-8012.