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Semá:th Xo:tsa

"Semá:th Xo:tsa (Sumas Lake) was central to cultural, spiritual, and physical wellbeing of the Séma:th people (Sumas First Nation) and surrounding Indigenous communities. Between 1919 and 1924, settlers in the region lobbied government to drain the lake, thereby enhancing the agricultural capacity of the region with devastating consequences for Stó:lō people" (Reach Gallery, 2020).

The exhibition was a life-sized rendering of a children’s book published by The Reach in fall of 2020. The collaborative book and exhibition recall a time when the lake was thriving, using memory and story to allow the lake to live on today. The project was illustrated by Carrielynn Victor and co-authored by Chris Silver, Carrielynn Victor, Kris Foulds, and Laura Schneider. Practice your Halq'eméylem pronunciation with Lumlamelut Laura Wee Lay Laq.