Our Story

past, present, future

This symbol represents the eye of the creator, a Coast Salish design connecting us to the past, present and future. To create our best future we must first visit our past. So let us share our culture and history with you. Then together, we can plant the seeds into uncharted territory, LIKE OUR ANCESTORS.

Klah ah men was a major gathering place for the Tla’amin people. They’d used the natural harbour to interact with others, hunt, gather food and travel along the Salish Sea not just for hundreds of years, but for thousands. It has significant importance as a critical hub culturally, but also for practical, everyday life as well. In the story-telling and sharing tradition of the Coast Salish people, that is the Klah ah men story to-date.

Our Art Project at the Resort

History Behind the Hotel

history

Since time immemorial and up until colonization, the Tla’amin people resided in traditional village sites throughout the territory. Klah ah men was a thriving village of permanent and winter residents with an active port for those who sought respite, provisions and to launch their canoes to other parts of the coast and islands. It must have been an impressive and vibrant community that provided protection and refuge for the people during their seasonal migration across the Salish Sea for their hunting and gathering.

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During the last decades of the 19th century the European colonists ushered in the Indian Act that brought an abrupt end to the traditional Tla’amin way of life in Klah ah men. Forcibly dispossessed of their culture and lands, the Tla’amin were removed from Klah ah men and other locations and relocated to the Tla’amin reserve on the outskirts of Powell River

During this time Fred and Charles Thulin arrived, laid claim to the native village site, and put up buildings and services to support commercial logging and fishing. They called their settlement Lund, after a town in Sweden.

The Thulins built a store, post office and in 1895, opened the first licensed hotel outside of Vancouver. The hotel operating today was built in 1918 after a forest fire had destroyed the original building. In 1954, the first land route to Klah ah men was opened and saw the end of steamer services two years later.

In defiance of the hardships and cruelty of the Indian Act and the colonial period, the Tla’amin never accepted the expropriation of their culture and lands as lawful. For over a century they fought for the return of Klah ah men. In 1999, the Tla’amin made a bold move toward repatriation by partnering with a local businessman to buy the Hotel out of bankruptcy. This was followed by the completion of a modern treaty in 2016 that returned Klah ah men to its rightful place as Tla’amin titled property. This was a deeply moving and significant moment for the community, particularly the Elders who’d kept the story and history of Klah ah men alive.

Since repatriation, the Tla’amin have taken over the operations of the Lund Hotel. It has been refurbished to meet evolving guest expectations, enhance cultural components and the ocean-side stay experiences. But the core of this story is the land. The hotel is a physical structure, but the land is the beating heart and soul of the story this community will author for the generations to come.

Tla’amin & Coast Salish Culture & History Story

community

One Heart, One Mind, One Nation.

Our community is (12km) north of the city of Powell River in British Columbia, along Highway 101. Our Nation is one of many indigenous Coast Salish tribes inhabiting the Pacific Northwest Coast, descendants of a rich heritage and history that stretches back over 4,000 years.

Our economic, political systems, values and spirituality are based on the traditions and unique relationships our ancestors have had with our land.

Our traditional territory spanned the northern part of B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, extending down both sides of the Strait of Georgia, an area over 400 square kilometers consisted of many permanent and temporary settlements. Our people frequently ventured outside our territory and traded with neighbours up and down the coast.

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The majority of our over 1,100 citizens live in the main village site in Tla’amin. We have a rapidly growing young population. Over 60% of our members are under the age of 40.

CULTURE

Our culture today is a fusion of modern society shaped by traditional influences. Despite conveniences of modern technology, we continue to carry forward ancient traditions and knowledge, through our cultural practices and customs. These are commonly expressed through various creative art forms that include:

Story Telling: This is the primary method of teaching and passing on our knowledge, especially to our youth.

Singing, Drumming and Dance: is another form of story telling and a way to connect directly with Spirit and our ancestors.

Carving: Skilled craftsman carve a variety of materials like wood, stone, bone, gold and silver. Wood is the most common and traditional material used to create Totem poles and other objects. Our artisans’ totem poles can be seen along the Seawalk in Powell River.

Painting: Traditional designs most often use a mix of three colors: red, black and white, with designs typically representing animals, characters, and other totems of significance.

Weaving: Skilled gatherers strip the bark of cedar trees and harvest suitable cedar roots without harming the trees. These are then prepared into strips used for weaving ceremonial head bands, baskets, hats and other useful items.

Textiles: We also create button blankets, vests and other traditional forms of clothing using modern materials.

Other cultural traditions continuing to this day include learning and sharing our language, traditional foods (such as smoked salmon), tribal canoe journeys and a practice centered around events such as harvests or the passing of a community member.

Our Elders are highly regarded and valued in our community as the primary sources of wisdom, knowledge and teachings.

Our community has a very strong passion to maintain and share our traditions and culture with others.

Photo Gallery

eye candy

click the + on the bottom left for a better view!