Exhibits at Maplewood Flats

The Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats hosts a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits at the site.

Current Exhibit

Repairing Ecological and Cultural Relations

July - September, 2022

In 1971, standing in front of mudflats squatter shacks, the late former Chief Leonard George proposed the return of Maplewood Flats to its rightful stewards so that Tsleil-Waututh children could grow up learning about nature. From 1990-1993 settler environmentalists convinced the federal government to protect the site to thwart a marina and shopping mall development. In 1993, the Crown retained it and declared it a wildlife reserve sandwiched between the only chlorine factory on the west coast of North America and Tsleil-Waututh reserve lands. Also in 1993, the Wild Bird Trust of BC assumed management of the site and excluded Tsleil-Waututh from stewardship for the subsequent 25 years. This exhibition and related public programming unpack this complex history, and the competing worldviews of western science and Indigenous Knowledge, while inviting viewers to answer questions about the past, present, and future of the site. In the winter of 2022, members of the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nation were elected to a majority on the board of directors of the Wild Bird Trust of BC. The work of decolonizing stewardship practices and governance of the site is a process which is best done with Wild Bird Trust members, Tsleil-Waututh community members, and the staff and volunteers all collaborating to repair the land and speed up the important work of restoration and sea-level rise and climate change adaptation. To prepare this work, this exhibit examines the ideas underpinning site management and proposed construction of new infrastructure including an outdoor Covid-friendly classroom for Tsleil-Waututh school children, something imagined by Leonard George back in 1971. Also planned are Coast Salish demonstration native plant gardens, a research studio, ornithology displays, visitor improvements, and land and culture memorial landscapes. For our 2022 nature house exhibit calendar, the #1 priority is revealing the Tsleil-Waututh Knowledge of their millennia of stewardship of the so-called Maplewood Flats. Exhibits function as educational and discursive platforms enabling Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and settler communities to develop common understandings around land-use issues, language, and culture to imagine decolonial approaches to a shared future. The programming includes unpacking the 130 years of settler history in North Vancouver along with the human, bird, wildlife, and plant relationships. Site-specific public programs feature exhibits: Native Plant exhibition (April to June 2022) Repairing Ecological and Cultural Relations (July – September 2022), and The Culture of Birds: Decolonizing Ornithology (September – November, 2022).

Past Exhibits

Coast Salish Plant Exhibition: Celebrating Indigenous Ecosystems

April 22 - June 6, 2022

This exhibit highlights Indigenous knowledge of native plants and their connection to Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish history. Learn about ethnobotany and the various medicinal and food uses of the plants for humans and animal species. The exhibit has three components exploring the language of plants, the threats to native plants in Salish lands, and contributions from our community. Senaqwila Wyss, Programs Coordinator Featuring work by: Angelina Hopkins Rose Erica Mulder Honey Mae Caffin Maddie Edmonds Nicole Preissl Ronnie Dean Harris Senaqwila Wyss Shḵwen̓ Ocean Hyland Tsawaysia Spakwus Alice Guss T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss Throughout the duration of the exhibition, a series of family-friendly Saturday morning events (11am) will be held, highlighting the importance of Coast Salish Plants and biodiversity. Topics such as Native Plants and Climate Action, Native Plants and Wild Birds, uses of plants in teas and woven objects, and many others. The exhibit is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11am to 3pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 4pm on a first come, first-served basis.
Poster for the Coast Salish Plant Exhibition 2022
Artists for Conservation Poster
Pacific Coast Portraits

September 18th - October 9th, 2021

An Artists for Conservation Festival exhibit in partnership with the Wild Bird Trust of BC. The exhibition is open 11am-3pm on weekends at the Nature House until October 9. All proceeds of artwork sales go towards the artists, Artists for Conservation, and the Wild Bird Trust of B.C. Come check out the show while you go for a nature walk! 🌿 Nature House Maplewood Flats, 2649 Dollarton Hwy., North Vancouver Tsleil-Waututh Territory ArtistsForConservation.org/festival

Children of takaya

Jordan Gallie, Olivia George, Jacob George, Robbie George, Ocean Hyland, Jonas Jones, Cody Larock, and features Atheana Picha | Curated by Jonas Jones

Exhibition Dates & Hours: September 8-12, 2021, 12:00-8:00 pm  Location: Part Of Studio, 4389 Gallant Ave., North Vancouver, Tsleil-waututh Territory • Poster art: Ocean Hyland •  Opening Event: Weds, Sept. 8th, at 7:30pm  Closing Event: Sun, Sept. 12th at 2:00pm    Performances by Children of Takaya at Panorama Park

The Children of Takaya exhibition presents artwork from emerging Tsleil-Waututh artists in this five-day Part Of Studio exhibit in Deep Cove, unceded Tsleil-Waututh lands and waters.

CDG Tea & Bannock Postcard_front

Chief Dan George: Actor & Activist

Exhibit at maplewood flats May 22-September 6, 2021

The exhibit explores the life and legacy of Tsleil-Waututh Chief Dan George (Tśētsawanexw & Stalaston), 1899-1981. The exhibit focuses on his influence as an advocate for the rights of First Nations Peoples and his career as an actor. It also considers other significant figures, events and milestones in the First Nations rights movement in BC and Canada, and touches on the wider history and portrayal of indigenous people in film and television. The exhibition also connects his esteemed legacy to this place, and enables Tsleil-Waututh members and North Vancouver residents to witness these stories so close to his home.

Permanent Installations

Maplewood Flats Conservation area hosts public artworks by local Indigenous artists at various locations around the site.

Nature House in Spring_Spring2019_Lianne Payne copy

Call for Submissions

Wingspan SS2021 AP

4th Annual Members Photography Exhibition

Calling ALL Wild Bird Trust of BC nature photographers! 

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner nature-loving photographer, we invite you to submit your favourite images! Share your love for the birds, plants, insects  and wildlife at the Conservation Area at Maplewood Flats.

The competition consists of large-format digital photos taken at Maplewood Flats of plants and flowers as well as birds and wildlife.  Up to 20 photos/photographers will be selected for exhibition at the Nature House. 

Deadline for Submissions:  September 3

We strongly encourage submissions from youth, Coast Salish, Indigenous & Black People, People of Colour, women, LGBTQ and People with Diverse Abilities.

Photo by Nicolas Ladino Silva on Unsplash/Canva.