The Salish Wool Weaving tradition has been reclaimed in a major way. For the last twelve years, we have been teaching all the way to top of Salish speaking territory. I see this as a responsibility, and am passionate about reclaiming this art.
We learned to weave from Susan Pavel and Subiyay-t Bruce Miller of Skokomish in October 2003, and are grateful to have had many spiritual, cultural, and scholarly mentors. We began teaching in Squamish Territory, including these technical, spiritual, and generational teachings.
We have integrated the Squamish teachings from our Late Grandmother Kwitelut-t Lena Jacobs who was directly connected to pre contact times, and other Squamish ancestors into my teachings. In this short time of my weaving life a few of my mentors have left this earth, their breathe is carried on in the teachings I pass on. I feel and see the pride that comes from reclaiming our inheritance from our elders and ancestors when we weave and when we wear our beloved weavings. We are taught spiritual protection is part of what we are wearing and feel the love that is put in each hand movement it takes to make a robe.
We have taught hundreds of people so far and our students have taken on the responsibility as well, and have taught over 2400 people. In this short time of my weaving life a few of my mentors have left this earth, their breathe is carried on in the teachings I pass on. I am so grateful to be a part of this exciting time in the history of Salish People. It is such an honour.
Chen kwenmantumi (We are grateful)
Chepximiya Siyam Chief Janice George