The Quw'utsun' Elders have a broad legacy vision to protect and support Quw'utsun' cultural values and way of life. This will be fulfilled through projects such as Xpey' (Cedar) restoration and protection, digital storytelling, arts, culture and media .
Xpey' (Cedar) Restoration and Protection
This project is taking actions to mitigate the loss of Xpey' (Cedar), a cultural keystone species, that is threatened by climate change and land development. We are engaging youth and Elders to revitalize traditional cultural practices for the stewardship and use of Xpey' through reconnecting youth to cultural knowledge and teachings about the land. The project will:
Honour the past by planting 3,000 cedar trees and restoring the conditions for cedar ecosystems to thrive. Trees will be planted throughout the region on family lands, community lands, and private lands so that cedar will be cared for, stewarded and used by future generations for harvesting and other cultural uses. This will be done in a ceremonial way to honour and acknowledge the children who lost their lives at residential schools.
Heal the present by building family and neighbourhood resiliency and addressing climate grief and loss
Give to the future by documenting and sharing cultural knowledge about the significance of Xpey'.
Read more about this project in this recent Discourse article.
Thu-it Multi-Media Arts and Culture Legacy Projects
For the past two years, we have been recording the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Connections Elders’ stories and teachings. These video and audio recordings will contribute to different multi-media arts and culture legacy projects for future generations.
Thu-it [Truth] will be a multi-media, immersive installation version of the Journey of our Generation work. Stories will be shared in both a walk-through timeline gallery and a 3-hour digital media immersive experience featuring video interviews, photos, graphics, and art, and utilizing traditional oral storytelling and music. The 3-hour digital media immersive experience will take visitors back in time to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the impacts of both western and Indigenous world views and systems, history, present and future. The immersive experience will include a post-experience zoom-in dialogue with the Elders facilitation team. Learn how to participate here.
In the summer of 2022, two young Indigenous adults have come on board with our team to complete the design and test run the gallery and installation to prepare for opening at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council studios in Duncan. The gallery and installation will run for 30 days, September 6th to October 6th. From there the installation and gallery will be housed in various places to broaden the reach of the stories and reconciliation work offered through this creative digital format.
At the same time this is taking place, our team is working on the architectural design of a permanent home to reside on Upil Rd in Cowichan. This facility will house the multi-media installation, a gallery, a youth hub for creating and developing art, film and media with a dedicated gallery, a carving shed, community gathering space and accommodations for visiting artist and workshop participants. The site is adjacent to a facility that offers a number of different arts, cultural and traditional experiences for students, community members, non-Indigenous participants and others. As part of the design phase for the permanent site, we are working on the development of shared programming between facilities.
An online database of video, audio and written stories related to X’pey, residential school experiences, approved teachings and related information will be available for access to students, educators and future generations.
Bring Thu-it to Your Community
Our long term vision is that Thu-it [Truth] will become a travelling exhibit. Please contact us if your organization or community might be interested in having us come.
Stay tuned for more information as it is available.