Talk: L’hen Awtxw – Weaving Knowledge into The Future
Chief Janice George / Chepximiya Siyam is a master weaver and teaching artist from the Squamish Nation. She is proud to have attended Capilano University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and and interned at the Canadian Museum of History the National Museum. Janice learned to weave from Susan Pavel and Subiyay-t Bruce Miller of Skokomish in October 2003, and is grateful to have had many spiritual, cultural, and scholarly mentors. She began teaching in Squamish Territory and continues to travel, sharing technical, spiritual, and generational teachings.
Janice has integrated the Squamish teachings from Late Grandmother Kwitelut-t Lena Jacobs who was directly connected to pre contact times, and other Squamish ancestors into her teachings. George states, "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."
Since 2003, the Salish Wool Weaving tradition has been reclaimed in a major way. Janice views her contributions to the comeback of weaving as a responsibility and is passionate about reclaiming this art. For the last fourteen years, Janice has been teaching all the way to the top of Salish speaking territory with her husband Buddy Joseph / Skwetsimeltxw.
"I am so grateful to be a part of this exciting time in the history of Salish People. Together with our students, we have taught over 2400 people. It is such an honour."
Chen kwenmantumi (We are grateful)
Chepximiya Siyam Chief Janice George