Sharing Knowledge on the Salish Woolly Dog
Senaqwila Wyss, Indigenous Cultural Programmer from Squamish Nation, wants you to know more about the now-extinct Salish woolly dogs.
Recorded during the summer of 2021, Senaqwila’s six-part #WoolyWednesday series highlighted Salish perspectives and demystify colonial narratives, bringing forth the beautiful relationship the Salish nations had with their Salish woolly dogs.
The decline and eventual extinction of the Salish woolly dogs was the direct result of colonialism. Narratives in various academic and online sources claim that the Salish woolly dogs were bred into other breeds, and that the Salish people “gave up” on the dogs.
Impacts of Colonization Led to Extinction
Senaqwila Wyss, however, challenges these assumptions, arguing that the direct impacts of colonization, including the coinciding timelines of residential schools, the potlatch ban, and Government of Canada’s genocidal policies, were all contributing factors leading up to the extinction of the Salish woolly dog.
“Through my different Indigenous communities, it has been shared with me that many communities actually had the RCMP or government kill the dogs on the shoreline. The Salish woolly dogs were part of the colonial genocide that happened to Indigenous peoples and this discussion series gave us an opportunity to talk about that in more detail.” – Senaqwila Wyss
Release of Six-Part #WoollyWednesday Series
Through the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (Squamish language), archival photos, and memes, Senaqwila Wyss bring us discourse on how culturally significant the dogs both were and still are today.
MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver is releasing the six-part series. You can watch the first recording below. Subscribe to MONOVA’s YouTube Channel to stay up-to-date.
Admission to the Museum of North Vancouver is free for those who self-identify as Indigenous.
Coast Salish programming is generously supported by BMO Financial Group.
Bring stories to life.
We rely on donations to preserve and share stories, such as the work that Senaqwila Wyss is doing around the Salish woolly dog. Your gift today will help MONOVA build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
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We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.