T’XWELÁTSE IS A MAN. He was turned to stone but he is still alive. He connects us to time immemorial. He is at the heart of the exhibition Man Turned to Stone: T’xwelátse as it was produced at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford in April 2011. . . . This book is a translation of that exhibition, a transformation in itself, helping to keep this story alive.
—From the Introduction

AND WHAT A STORY IT IS. T’xwelátse, revered ancestor of the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe (Chilliwack Tribe) of the Stó:lō people, was born in the distant past when the world was not quite right. He lived in the land of the Stó:lō, in what is commonly known as the lower Fraser River watershed of southwestern British Columbia. How T’xwelátse was turned to stone is one part of his story. But only part. Late in the nineteenth century, he was taken from his community and ended up in a Seattle museum. Another century passed. In 2006, due to the eff orts of his family caretakers, T’xwelátse came home to his people. The loss of T’xwelátse coincided with the loss of many aspects of Stó:lō culture and landscape through the effects of colonization. His return speaks to cultural renaissance and brings the opportunity for learning and crosscultural understanding. Using various media—from photography through storytelling, film, and dance—this book, like the exhibition on which it is based, relates multiple transformation narratives to bring forward the story and enduring message of T’xwelátse: We must all learn to live together in a good way.

View the online book


Man Turned to Stone: T'xwelátse can be purchased at The Reach.

For more information, contact Donna Dempsey