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Learn about the Indigenous history of the West End through Chrystal Sparrow’s personal story and original artwork, Cedar Mother.

Cedar Mother - Chrystal Sparrow (2021)

Red cedar, acrylics, abolone and copper. Designed in Watercolour.

12.7cm x 25.4cm (5in x 10in)


Cedar Mother is a representation of land, animals, medicines, people, and the Salish Sea. The Coast Salish People of xʷməθkʷəyəm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) have shared land, food, teachings, and many of the uses of red cedar for thousands of years.

We used red cedar to build long houses spanning 100 feet to 200 feet in length, to construct canoes for travel, to make art and clothing, and to bury our people in sacred places. In Stanley Park, the West End, and throughout Metro Vancouver, our people once gathered clams from the inlets, and harvested berries, medicines, and cedar roots from the land.

My great grandmother Rose Sparrow and great aunt Jeri Sparrow collected red cedar roots from Stanley Park to make baskets and to use for various medicines. I have relatives that lived in Stanley Park and gathered shells from the inlets like English Bay. The West End community was a part of a larger area where our people gathered and once lived.

Learn about xʷməθkʷəyəm carver Chrystal Sparrow here.

What characteristics or qualities of the West End do you see in this story and art? 

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