Chesha7 iy lha mens- Squamish Nation Women’s dance group

Coastal First Nations Dance Festival invited Chesha7 iy lha mens from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw.

1.5 year old Kamaya watches her mother and grandmother in her 2nd year performing at the Coast First Nations Dance Festival

The dance group compromised with a focus on empowering women and intergenerational healing, the name translates in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Snichim as “mothers and daughters of hers”.

This is the sixth year that the group has welcomed the event at the kick-off show for local elementary schools. Over the years the group expanded from Cease and Senaqwila, now to their next generation with Kamaya.

Singing and dancing for elementary school visitors
Senaqwila Wyss, Kamaya Leo, T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss

The group shared with the elementary school visitors included songs with history to the songs and culture of the Coast Salish Sḵwx̱wú7mesh People, as well as other songs.

Songs included Syexwaliya’s Greeting of the Day Slulem, the Paddle song sang in the Great Fire of Vancouver- both Skwxwu7mesh, as well as Martina Pierre’s Women Warrior Song – Lil’wat, and the Pollinator Song.

Cease was part a group with #callresponse that wrote this song with two other indigenous women from across turtle island, from Miq’Maq and Tsleil Waututh to honour Pollinators- without theses sacred insects, birds and animals we would not have food and plant medicines to sustain ourselves and the whole planet and ecosystems.

The 3 wear Squamish regalia including wool shawls and cape (on T’uy’t’tanat) that is a wool material but inspired by the Coast Salish cedar bark style cape; wool woven headbands and paddle dress/skirt.


Written By Senaqwila Wyss, Squamish Nation.

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