Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten - Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby, British Columbia
Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten, “‘where the bark gets pe[e]led’ in spring” is the Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) place name for the area that was formerly Barnet Mill, and today is known as Barnet Marine Park. It is at the base of Burnaby Mountain, home of Simon Fraser University. In modern usage this name is often used to refer to all of Burnaby Mountain.
The name Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten, derives from the Skwxwu7mesh word for arbutus, lhulhuḵw’ay, which comes from lhuḵw’ (peel), and means “always peeling tree.” For generations, Skwxwu7mesh people have seasonally harvested this tree’s bark, using it for different cultural purposes. It provides important medicine. It can be made into a ‘tea’, which is used as an eyewash, and the leaves can be chewed to treat colds and tuberculosis.
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people also harvested cedar bark on Burnaby Mountain. Used for spiritual and utilitarian purposes, cedar is one of the most culturally important trees. Bark peeling remains an important practice that continues today throughout Sḵwx̱wú7mesh lands. In the spring, when the tree sap is running, strips of cedar bark are carefully peeled from the trunk in a way that does not damage the tree. Uses of the bark have included basketry, mats, clothing, and rope. In the past, newborn babies were also wrapped and diapered in the softer inner bark (The Bill Reid Centre, 2016).
Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten can be viewed from the fenceline at Burnaby Mountain Park.
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