Celebrating the Rich Waterborne Culture of the Coast Salish Peoples

Paddles Up :: An Honour Guard for the Children – Celebrating the Rich Waterborne Culture of the Coast Salish Peoples is a free virtual event on September 30 at 6:30 p.m. 

 September 30 is Orange Shirt Day. It’s also World Maritime Day and National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Paddles Up is in honour of these three days of recognition.

Orange Shirt Day is, according to the Orange Shirt Day Society, a day to “create awareness of the individual, family and community inter-generational impacts of Residential Schools.” World Maritime Day is a day to celebrate the international maritime industry. National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is a new statutory holiday for Canadians to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools.

The VMM recognizes that Indigenous history is maritime history, and maritime history must include Indigenous history. A day in which Indigenous days of recognition coincide with a maritime day of recognition is the perfect time for us to host Indigenous speakers.

Paddles Up will be a panel discussion about the maritime time aspect of Indigenous history. A group of Indigenous panelists will speak about Indigenous maritime culture. They’ll also discuss how bodies of water like the Burrard Inlet are still used today by the Coast Salish people. The water, the species that live within it and the ecosystems it supports are a key element of coastal culture.

The panelists will also discuss colonialism and its effects, particularly residential schools.

These panelists have a wealth of knowledge to share about Indigenous experience, culture, history and more:

  • Roxanne Charles, artist, cultural historian and member of the Semiahmo Nation.
  • Carleen Thomas, Elder and member of thesəlilwətaɬ Nation
  • T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, artist, ethnobotanist, educator and food security activist with Skwxwu7mesh, Sto:Lo, Hawaiian and Swiss ancestry
  • Manuel Axel Strain, artist with Musqueam, Simpcw and Inkumupulux ancestry,

Content warning: some of the topics covered in the panel discussion at Paddles Up may be difficult for some people to hear. Topics include residential schools and recent findings of burial sites.

This virtual event is free and hosted on Zoom. To get your free tickets, use the button below. You will be emailed the link for the event. If you have any difficulty booking, please email education@vanmaritime.com.