Visit at Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler B.C.

Carver Aaron-Nelson-Moody

At the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, Native master carvers Aaron Nelson Moody and Delmar Williams were working on a commission of Pacific Northwest Coast Salish styled house panel carvings. We arrived at the Cultural Centre yesterday on a rest day from skiing and when I found out that today there would be two carvers I canceled my plans to ski to meet and watch them working on a cedar panel. Both Aaron and Delmar were extremely approachable while they worked and were a treasure trove of information on their Native designs, carving techniques and tools and, perhaps the most fascinating, Squamish-Lil’wat culture such as legends and customs. Aaron and Delmar showed me handles for carving tools they hand-made and even let me try those tools on the panels they were carving. We actually spent quite a long time talking about anything and by the end of two good hours I felt like we were old friends. Perhaps because of his dual ancestry (Scottish father and Native mother) Aaron is uniquely positioned to act as a cultural ambassador and myth dispeller with all the non-native visitors. Later I researched information about Aaron Nelson-Moody and found a few sites with reference to some high profile work he completed in connection with the 2006 and this year’s winter Olympics. More about Aaron in a recent interview with Pique News Magazine. When we parted we exchanged contact information and Aaron picked up his hand-held drum and accompanied himself while singing us a short song. Aaron Nelson-Moody’s Parting Song from Piergiorgio Barbarich on Vimeo A truly serendipitous visit!