Ladysmith Secondary students learned first-hand some of the traditions around Coast Salish weaving last Wednesday.
The full-day, hands-on lesson near the Machine Shop saw students in the Language and Land-Based class collaborating as they cleaned the wool, boiled and washed it, hung it to dry and finally learned how to card the fibre.
Teacher Bill Taylor said the labour intensive process teaches both traditions and a greater appreciation for material things.
“I think it’s so people can appreciate the work that goes into the things they use and wear and to see the value of things around them,” he said. “We’re just trying to rediscover why these ways exist and what they can teach us.”
John Marston also helped the teens to boil the wool and made the class a spindle whorl.
Students have already started learning from LSS Hul’qumi’num coordinator Mandy Jones how to weave traditional Coast Salish blankets on a loom.
A larger loom at the school will help to create a blanket that will be roughly 8×4 feet once it’s finished.
“Hopefully every student in our school will have a chance to weave at least one strand into the big reconciliation blanket,” Taylor added. “I think in the end the idea is that everything that we do together is a teachable moment.”