Exploring Squamish Part 3: Squamish Nation Canoe Builders

Tourism Squamish recently invited myself and some other local online media folks to come get a taste of life in nearby Squamish. It is like a little secret paradise, less than an hour’s drive from Vancouver. In this four part series, I will share with you some of the adventures we experienced.

Xwu’nekw Canoe Shelter

While visiting the Squamish Farmers Market, we happened upon the Xwu’nekw Canoe Shelter (pronounced Whoo-Nay-Oak) located in Xwu’nekw Park on the Mamquam Blind Channel and Loggers Lane between Victoria and Main Streets.

Built in 2015 to house, restore and showcase historical First Nations canoes, the Xwu’nekw Canoe Shelter is housed on a traditional Squamish Nation village site where the Skwxwú7mesh people and visitors from other First Nations beached their canoes.

District of Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman describes the shelter as “a place for collaboration and shared learning between the Squamish Nation and the Squamish community”. The community project, made possible thanks to a Canadian Heritage Legacy Fund grant designed to build communities through arts and heritage, was a ‘made-in-Squamish-by-Squamish’ project. The project was initiated by the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association to establish a historical attraction that would help bring visitors and locals alike to the downtown area, and build a stronger partnership with First Nations community members.

Fatima and I dropped in to speak with Josh Watts who was working on repairing a hand made ocean canoe. Watch the video to learn about how these traditional canoes are built from a single tree, and are bringing Josh and his people closer together in an incredible way!

Josh Watts shows off the sea canoe to visitors at the Canoe shelter near the Squamish Farmers Market

Josh Watts shows off the sea canoe to visitors at the Canoe shelter near the Squamish Farmers Market


Squamish Canoe Shelter

Squamish Xwu’nekw Canoe Shelter


Canoe shelter information board

Xwu’nekw Canoe shelter information board

SQUAMISH – Located on the ocean at the tip of the Howe Sound fjord, Squamish offers the world’s most epic outdoor adventures from Sea to Sky, all within 10 minutes. In Squamish you can play on the ocean and explore the mountains all in the same day. The Sea to Sky Gondola opens up easy access to expansive alpine hiking and sightseeing. Located on the doorstep of eight Provincial Parks, Squamish boasts more than 3,500 rock climbing routes and bouldering problems including the famous Stawamus Chief, more than 200 kilometers of world renowned mountain biking single track trails and access to some of the best kiteboarding and windsurfing conditions in North America.

The Beatler/Surrey604 Exploring Squamish Series:


Originally from Sackville, New Brunswick. A longtime media producer, visual designer, marketing and communications specialist, Daman loves travel, technology and being a Dad.

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