The Pemberton and District Museum and Archives recognizes and respects that the Pemberton museum site operates within the traditional unceded territory of the Stl’atl’imx Nation.
In early May, an article published in Pique Newsmagazine called for anyone with historical Lil’wat possessions, whether they were found, bought or gifted, to return them to the Nation. In the spirit of the original museum founders we recognize that the time has come for repatriation and we support the Na-tion’s goal to have cultural belongings returned to the Stl’atl’imx Nation for families to identify with and to provide opportunities to embrace and celebrate their cultural history.
The museum has been anticipating this day and submitted an application to Young Canada Works for a summer student to investigate and report on all indigenous artifacts in collection so we can confirm what we have, where it came from and its current condition.
Our application was approved.
This work will ensure we can provide full access to these items through our website by September 2019 so that individual Nations can request repatriation of items as required. Initial research shows 50 items flagged as “native” or “archaeological.”
The museum board of trustees has written a letter to the eleven First Nations communities within Stl’atl’imx Nation expressing the museum’s support of repatriation of cultural possessions and the intent to prepare these items for repatriation requests. The museum also appealed to each Nation to help this student if they contact a Nation seeking more information about an item as they complete their research.
The museum is also notifying the museum membership of its intent to repatriate items as requested by First Nation communities in the future through this newsletter article. If you have comments, questions, or concerns about this process please contact Curator Niki Madigan through our website.