Syiyaya: Reconciliation events scheduled

The syiyaya Reconciliation Movement has announced a series of events for all residents of the Sunshine Coast.

In partnership with the Sechelt Public Library, the Movement will be holding a public talk about reconciliation on Sept. 18 at 1:30 p.m. as part of the library’s Tuesday Talks series.

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Shíshálh weaver Shy Watters will also be present to weave before the event, from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to add their stitches to the Paddling Together Reconciliation blanket.

Weaving Wednesdays will continue with Watters on Sept. 19 and 26 at the Sechelt Library. Watters will weave from 4 to 7 p.m. each week, and all are welcome to come and learn with her.

Watters is a member of shíshálh Nation who also has Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Tla’amin and Kwakwaka’wakw ancestry. Her designs integrate the unique patterns of her rich cultural background into her work. Her preferred medium is cedar. Watters has woven with both red and yellow cedar for over 19 years, and continues to explore her art with tenacity and passion.

The innovative patterns used in Watters’ cedar hats are well known on the Sunshine Coast and her work is sought after for cultural ceremonies. She offers weaving courses on the Sunshine Coast and throughout B.C.

“When I think of reconciliation” Watters says, “I think of our beautiful Salish Sea that connects us all.”

The sea is central to Watters’ design, symbolic of what connects us to reconciliation. In the centre of her design is a cedar canoe. A yellow sun shines above it, with rays emanating out like paddles. As Watters explains, the paddles represent “the past, which isn’t to be repeated; the present, where we are coming together now; and the future, where we need to paddle together for future generations so history isn’t repeated.”

As Watters completes her blanket in October, public weaving events are scheduled with Jessica Silvey as the next Indigenous weaver. The Weaving Reconciliation project is set to run until June 2019, also involving weavers Raquel Joe and kwayimin Andy Johnson.

– Submitted

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