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Welcome to the Festival

The Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation welcome you to VIFF 2023:

Chief Wayne Sparrow headshot

Greetings from the

Musqueam Indian Band

ʔa: si:y̓ém̓ nə siyéy̓ə
Friends and relatives

ʔəm̓i ce:p kʷətxʷiləm ʔi ʔə tə n̓a šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaʔɬ təməxʷ, tə šxʷʔam̓əts tə shən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓qən
Welcome to the ancestral territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓-speaking Musqueam people

ʔiʔ ƛ̓əw tə šxʷʔaləqʷaʔ ct tə sqʷχʷaməx ʔiʔ tə səl̕ilwətaʔɬ məsteyəxʷ
Along with our relatives Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh


Musqueam has used storytelling as a way to share our teachings for thousands of years – it is an intrinsic part of who we are as Indigenous people. We are also innovators, continually adapting and utilizing new technologies to build upon ancestral knowledge that has sustained us for millennia.

Through film and other media, Indigenous peoples are finding new ways to share our stories, experiences, struggles and successes. Film provides an essential platform to amplify Indigenous voices—voices that have been silenced for far too long—and helps to ensure that new generations of Indigenous filmmakers will be inspired to continue creatively telling these important stories.

Musqueam acknowledges that the Vancouver International Film Festival works hard to bring diverse local, national and international stories to our beautiful territory, while also featuring many Indigenous films during the festival and all year round.

We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with VIFF and inspiring new Musqueam filmmakers.

Chief Wayne Sparrow (yəχʷyaχʷələq)

Ann Whonnock headshot

Greetings from the

Squamish Nation

Ta newyáp Síiy̓am̓ Ta newyáp síiyay̓
To all our Friends, to all our Respected Leaders.

Stl’i7 chet wa kw’enmantúmiyap kwis na tl’iḵ I tti na7 ta temíxwcht
We want to thank you all and welcome you all to our land.

Nilh ta s7ulh temíxw tta Sḵwx̱wú7meshulh
Úxwmixw iy tta Xwmets’kwiy̓emulh Úxwmixw iy
tta Selílwetulh Úxwumixw

This is the land of our Squamish People, and the Musqueam People, and Tsleil-Waututh People.


For many generations, Squamish People have created a culture of oral literature to teach our history, values, and advice to the next generation. Our storytelling traditions are how we inspire ourselves and our children to be a good person, to treat family, land, and water with respect, and work together as a people. We celebrate all storytelling traditions, including new ways of telling stories through film and cinema.

Squamish Nation recognizes the Vancouver International Film Festival’s work to bring diverse local, national, and inter-national stories to our beautiful territory, while also featuring Indigenous films during the festival and all year round.

Congratulations, VIFF, on your 42nd festival!

Ann Whonnock​
Spokesperson & Councilor

Chief Jen Thomas headshot

Greetings from the

Tsleil-Waututh Nation

ʔo: si:y̓ém̓ nə siyéy̓ə,
Friends and Relatives,

ʔəm̓i ce:p kʷətxʷiləm ʔə tə təməxʷ wə c̓ɬwet ʔə tə məsteyəxʷ tən̓I ƛ̓ xʷməθkʷəy̓əm ʔiʔ sqx̌ʷam̓əx ʔiʔ səl̕ilwətaʔɬ
Welcome to the shared territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.


Sharing our culture, history, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language, and enduring connections to our land and waters through different art forms is important to Tsleil-Waututh Nation. As “People of the Inlet,” we connect and learn from one another through storytelling, which supports restoring our culture and traditions for current and future generations. VIFF screens many films that are written, produced, and led by Indigenous peoples and by doing so, the festival helps bring these stories to life while bridging cultures with different audiences.

I raise my hands in thanks to VIFF for their ongoing commitment to collaborating with Tsleil-Waututh Nation. VIFF works closely with us to provide access to films and documentaries during the festival and throughout the year, which contributes to teaching our next generation about the importance of these stories.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen our engagement with VIFF. Congratulations on launching your 42nd season of this wonderful festival.

hay čxʷ q̓ə,

Chief Jen Thomas
səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation)


Welcome Videos Credits

Director & Editor: Aya Garcia

Editor: Linnea Ritland

Camera Operators: Lucy Jensen, Lauren Yim, Laurel K. Brown

Drone Operator, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Member: Jeff Sisson

Drone Operator: Tyler McLeod