Breaking Bread with History
For thousands of years, the Squamish and Lil’wat local tribes, known collectively as the First Nations, have called Whistler their home. Here, they hunted game, foraged for berries and hand-carved canoes. After coexisting respectfully as neighbours since time immemorial, they came together to create the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, found adjacent to Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, celebrates the bonds the two tribes share. The Squamish tribe and Lil’wat tribe each have their own languages, the Squamish tribe speaks Skwxwú7mesh and the Lil’wat tribe speaks St’at’ímcets. Although the tribes are decidedly different in more than just the language they speak, they do share a "7" in the spelling of their name, Skwxwú7mesh and Lil’wat7úl. The "7" acts as a "catch in the throat" glottal stop or a slight pause.
The building itself presents a modern interpretation of First Nations architecture— designed to evoke both the longhouses of the Squamish and the traditional earthen pit house of the Lil’wat. The surrounding grounds have their own unique features such as a small yet beautiful interpretive trail that winds its way through an old growth forest.
While exploring the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, experience First Nations culture and a history of Aboriginal artwork. After touring historical displays that not only serve to educate but also enlighten try your hand at a drum making class. To get a real taste of First Nations culture, sample authentic indigenous cuisine made with fresh local ingredients in the Centre’s Thunderbird Café. Dine on dishes such as the Squamish Salmon Chowder or Lil’wat Venison Chili, and the must have fresh bannock. Bannock was introduce by fur traders and is similar to the Scottish scone.
Although their bannock is based on the original fry-bread made by the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations, the version made in the Thunderbird Café has been modified to make it lighter and more appealing to modern palates. This modern day bannock can feature different ingredients such as local purple sage, wild blueberry, bacon, cheddar and chive.
Hungry for more? Join us for breakfast where SIDECUT offers a twist on the traditional eggs benedict called the West Coaster Benny. With fresh smoked salmon, house made bannock, poached eggs, and topped with watercress and dill hollandaise, this may even be better than the original.