Sna7m Smánit (Strong Spirit of the Mountain)

This large mural is painted on part of one exterior wall of a building in downtown Squamish. It features a profile view of a cloaked figure with Coast Salish imagery interwoven throughout the figure. It is painted in purples, pinks, blues and blacks.

This mural is an extension of collaborative works between James Xwalacktun Harry and Lauren Brevener from a body of work titled “The Seventh”. This work engages familial supports and knowledges, including Brevner’s Japanese and Trinidadian heritage and Harry’s ancestral connection to Sḵwx̱wú7mesh stories, forms, and designs. We explore innovative material traditions and engage in experimentation through cross-cultural exchange. For us, the bringing together of diverse historical and cultural contexts is urgent. In 2022, we welcomed our daughter Hana Kimiko Kwílayus Harry to the world and began dreaming of The Seventh. Sna7m Smanit within the series embodies a transformative potential to share knowledge with future generations. As we worked toward the common goal, we spent time with elders, knowledge keepers, and storytellers from their communities. Through these dialogues, a cosmology of past and future reciprocity flows. In conversation with Gwen Mildred Harry, my Sḵwx̱wú7mesh grandmother, we learned that our daughter’s birth marked the seventh generation since European contact within our family lineage. Gwen Mildred Harry shared that, in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh teachings, the number seven holds a significant connection to the vast expression of time—to enact powerful change, one must always be thinking seven generations ahead of one’s own life, and importantly, that it takes seven generations for a past wound or trauma to heal.”