TFG Events & Workshops

Community Building Project: St'at'imc Nation Arbor (British Columbia)


Our host for this Community Building Project is the St'at'imc (Stat-lee-um) Nation, whose traditional territory encompasses Whistler, Pemberton, and Lillooet in British Columbia, Canada. The arbor is located on Kwetsa7 on Lil'wat land. The Lil’wat People, known in their language as L̓il̓wat7úl. The Líl̓wat Nation have been stewards of the land since time immemorial. The impressive Mount Currie, traditionally known in the Líl̓wat language, Ucwalmícwts, as T'szil, is the most prominent mountain in our valley.

Our partner, the St'at'imc Northern Tribe Powwow Society, a not-for-profit registered Charitable Society, will welcome us in September for this project taking place just outside Pemberton in a bend of the Lillooet River below Mount Currie. 

Vision: To observe self, connect to culture, and unite communities for this and future generations across all walks of life.

Mission: To host authentic homecoming powwows for all that are grounded in protocol, culture, respect, humility, and knowledge-sharing by celebrating the natural medicines of dancing, drumming, singing, and ceremony. 

Imagine 5,000 people gathered in an enormous circular timber frame arbor at the foot of Ts'zil - the mountain formerly known as Mount Currie - on a warm Pemberton Valley summer evening, cheering on Indigenous dancers from across North America. The arbor will be used by all eleven St'at'imc Nations. 

In August 2024, the St'at'imc Northern Tribe Powwow Society (SNTPS) plans to make this vision a reality, hosting the first of what will be major annual powwows featuring the best Indigenous cultural performers living on Turtle Island. In addition to providing space for powwows, the arbor and its infrastructure will be a permanent, year-round facility used for ceremonies and the cultural and intergenerational sharing that is critical to the long-term success of Indigenous culture. 

About the Project

This enormous structure is designed for use by all eleven St'at'imc Nations. This cultural center will allow for the hosting of outdoor events with up to 5,000 guests during the months of May to October. Some of the cultural events will be Gatherings, Traditional Weddings, Funerals, Traditional and Competitive Powwows, and more.

The structure consists of 16 small separate timber frames with round log posts and rafters, arranged in a 200-foot diameter circle to form the arbor. Fabric shade sails will be suspended between each of the timber frames. 

The nature of the frames makes them a good fit for those wanting to learn the basics of timber framing and the large number of frames means we will have the opportunity to use a mix of scribed, square rule, and mill rule layout. There are also opportunities to use gang cutting methods for certain members and the instructor team will be planning the work to accommodate the full range of skills and experience of all participants. 

Accommodation will be camping in the meadow adjoining the structure in a beautiful riverside location with showers and restrooms provided. Meals will also be provided by local supporters of the SNTPS with three square meals per day plus snacks and endless coffee. There will be evening educational presentations on a range of timber framing topics.

This is a big one and will take a village to get it done!

Call for Participants

The event runs for 13 days from Sunday, September 10, through Friday, September 22, and includes a rest day midway through. If you are not able to make the full-time commitment, please indicate your limited availability in your application information. 

You may choose from three options for attendance:

  • Week 1 (Sunday, September 10, through Saturday, September 16)
  • Week 2 (Sunday, September 17, through Friday, September 22)
  • Full Project (Sunday, September 10, through Friday, September 22)


We also have positions for sixty (60) volunteers for this event. These positions are not compensated but you can expect the traditional TFG XC (exuberant camaraderie) and a very rich and rewarding experience.  To sign up, click the "Register" icon at the bottom of this page. 

Participants will perform hands-on timber frame layout cutting and raising under the direction of the instructor team. Because of the large team and the hands-on nature of this project, it will be suitable for those with reasonable levels of fitness and basic hand and power tool skills. There will be limited novice positions available, and we need to ensure a balance of skills on the teams. 

You must be a Guild member to participate! (Join the Guild HERE.) If that presents a challenge for you, please talk to us. We can work something out, and we want to be inclusive!

It will be possible to bring family with you, and with appropriate safety management for non-participants, we expect to be able to accommodate family groups for camping. Participant food service is unfortunately not available for families. Please indicate on your application how many family members will be joining you.

Are you interested in participating in this build but finding the travel costs to be an impediment? The Guild has allocated limited funding for stipends and invites volunteer applicants to request funding to ease the financial burden of travel to Pemberton. Apply HERE for a travel stipend. 

Please note that volunteer applications do not guarantee acceptance. We may have more applications than positions, so please do not make travel arrangements until you've received notification of acceptance. Also, please be sure that you're able to commit to the project prior to applying; if you're uncertain but still interested, contact the Guild office to be placed on a tentative list until you know that you're able to attend! 

The deadline for volunteer applications is August 20, 2023. 

We will endeavor to confirm your acceptance ASAP and hopefully well before the deadline for applications. If you have questions, please contact Project Manager Chris Koehn and Communications Director Allison Aurand


Registration has concluded on Sep 9, 2023.

Event Details

Elevating the design of timber structures

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