Under my direction, and with the help of Coast Salish weavers, the students learned how to weave on a large scale. We used a 10’ by 10’ loom that we constructed out of old growth red cedar. We based this loom on historic drawings, and on looms we viewed while on a trip to the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC.

Figure 14 Partially completed weaving

nilh ni’ tl’uw’ hakwushum kwun’s lhunum’ ‘u tthu swuqw’a’lh
It’s also used for when you weave a mountain goat wool blanket.

Students gain weaving experience on the large loom, benefiting from my family teachings. I chose the motif to be found on the blanket — liimus. This Hul’q’umi’num’ word means Canada Goose leader and will be used to represent the class’s leadership in reconciliation.

The idea of transformation is central to these teachings. Fleece is transformed to roving, which is transformed to yarn, which is transformed to a blanket. The work completed in our class has awakened the culture for many of our First Nations students. By continuing to awaken all of our students, First Nations and non-First Nations, to the teachings of our elders, our language will flourish, and we will begin a healing journey.