The Xat’sull Heritage Village celebrated its final cultural day of the year Saturday, wrapping up an award-winning year of tours and educational workshops.
Miriam Schilling, community economic development co-ordinator for the Soda Creek Indian Band, said the cultural days, held once a month from July to October, are a great way for people to experience the village.
“We started doing this last year and basically once a month we get together, we have lunch, we have a bit of drumming and singing — anybody can join in — and people that are interested can do a guided tour of the village,” Schilling said. “We also do some crafts. People here today can make their own dream catcher.”
Earlier this month the Xat’sull Heritage Village, located 20 minutes north of Williams Lake, was presented the Outside the Box Award by the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association — an award given for introducing an innovative new concept to the tourism industry within the past three years.
Schilling added guided tours are a unique way to learn about the village and culture.
“We’ve got Ralph [Phillips] and Mike [Stinson] — they’re our main tour guides,” Schilling said. “And then this year we had four summer students. Roxanne [Pop], she’s only 14, and she would take people and do part of the tour. People, we found, really enjoy getting that perspective from the youth. It’s great to learn and listen to the elders but we’ve had many comments about how they’ve been a great crew.”
She said tours take around two hours, but can sometimes go longer.
“Every tour is different,” she said. “It depends on where people are from, what questions they have and the age group. We’ll go to the fishing spot, the sweat house, the pit houses — there’s so much history to cover.
“It’s really a customized tour for the guests who are here.”