Chinook Wawa Day: Aboriginal Cultural Experiences, Saturday, June 27, 2015

Food, art, architecture, music, traditional medicine, carving and an opportunity for paddling.

Gain insights into aboriginal cultures and learn a few words in Chinook Wawa, the trade language spoken throughout British Columbia Saturday,June 27, 2015 at the Creekside Community Center in Vancouver

Chinook Wawa was spoken by thousands of Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people from California to Alaska in the late 1800s. It was the working language of Vancouver in its early days, used at the Hastings Mill and canneries and mills along the coast. Most of the words come from native languages like Chinook and Nootka as well as French and English. Older British Columbians still use words of Wawa like skookum meaning robust, high muckamuck meaning bigwig and saltchuck meaning ocean.

We will learn to use words and phrases from this ancient language while participating in activities like paddling, cooking, art and architecture with a special emphasis on Aboriginal history and practice.

Featured presenters will include Prof. Jay Powell, one of the few people who learned Wawa from aboriginal elders; Denise Sparrow, from the Musqueam First Nation who will provide food; Bill McLennan, of the Museum of Anthropology who is an authority on Aboriginal architecture et al, Debra Crabtree, Aboriginal Program Coordinator at Emily Carr and Artist James Harry.

The day will begin at 10:00 AM at the Creekside Community Center in Multipurpose Room 4 – timetable

Priority registration will be given to youth, but this event is open to all ages.  We have a limited number of youth scholarships available if cost of registration is an issue for your family.

Youth participants attending without their parents must have Application Forms and Waivers (pages 2-4 of this document) completed ahead of time.

Families and adults please get in touch with Lynn at

All participants should bring rain gear as some of the activities will be outside and may include paddling. The day will conclude at 4:00 PM. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The cost per participant will be $35, which will cover food from Salishan Caterers.

We have a limited number of scholarships available if the cost of the program is an issue for your family.  This event is sponsored by the Global Civic Policy Society.

For more information or to register please e-mail Lynn at

 Chinook Wawa Day | Aboriginal Cultural Experiences
Location: Creekside Community Center
Saturday, June 27 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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