DECOLONIZINGWe acknowledge that we still have a lot to learn, and there is room for improvement. We invite you to join in our journey of truth and reconciliation, decolonization and indigenization.
Waacus Salee Frog Spirit Project
A partnership project dedicated to building bridges between cultures & people through the lens of Indigenous principles and leadership.
How we started ….
Frog Hollow, with funding support from Heritage Canada, guided by Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC) and Vancouver Aboriginal Policing Centre (VACPC), has been exploring ways to strengthen our community using approaches that align with those of Indigenous peoples and acknowledge our deep connection with the land.
Waacus Salee means Frog Spirit in Salish language. Shane Pointe, a proud Musqueam artist, gifted Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House this name for our intention and commitment towards decolonization .
As the symbol of our project, the frog engenders the push towards transformation. The frog call in the spring signals the end of winter and the time to get started doing the work to prepare for the growing season.
It is essentially a call to action.
At Frog Hollow, we are heeding this call to do the work needed to reexamine our beliefs and ways of doing things and develop a new approach that aligns better with Indigenous worldviews.
Since September 2019, Waacus Salee has aimed to promote awareness of Indigenous history and teachings to our community, especially amongst newcomers.
Going Beyond Land Acknowledgements, this project has created a hub for cultural exchange at the Clinton Park Fieldhouse (P’ipa:m Lelum – Frog House) where programs such as cooking, drum circles, and Indigenous art workshops have been taking place.
The Waacus Salee Advisory Circle was formed in January 2020. Circle members include leaders from Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations who are committed to making positive changes within their organizations and the larger community.
At Frog Hollow, we continue to find ways to adopt Indigenous approaches to our programming and promote cultural understanding and sharing. We hope to continue creating space within the community for dialogue on decolonization and the importance of connecting with the land. Through ongoing drum circles, plant workshops and cultural out trips we commit to bridging the gap between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community and connecting newcomers and long-term residents with Indigenous history and culture. The Frog House at Clinton Park will continue to be a hub for cultural exchange and community connection. Get invovled →
P’ipa:m Lelum – Frog House
On the traditional, unceded and occupied territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, we are grateful to have Clinton Park Fieldhouse as part of our community hub connecting people of all ages and cultures.
We hope to build a safe and welcoming space for people to recognize, learn and celebrate the heritage and diverse cultures of Indigenous peoples.
Thanks to Shane Point, our fieldhouse was blessed with a Salish name P’ipa:m Lelum. “P’ipa:m” means frog, and “lelum” means house.
The logo for P’ipa:m Lelum – Frog House was gifted by Luther Aday, a Kwakwaka’wakw artist, singer, and storyteller from the Musgamagw Dzawadenuxw people from Kingcome Inlet B.C. and the Mamalilikulla Mimkwimlis from Compton Island and (Kwikiwasutenuxw) Gilford Island B.C.
In West Coast tradition, it is said that when the last snow of the winter falls on the ground, it all turns into Frogs.
Then the people know that there is only six weeks until the Salmon return to the rivers and summer begins.
The frog in this artwork depicts a powerful transformer, connecting both water and earth as well as the natural and supernatural. Above it, is the Sun and the supernatural ear that extends down to complete the circle.
P’ipa:m Lelum – Frog House is located at 2690 Grant Street – Clinton Park Fieldhouse in East Vancouver. Built through the lens of Indigenous principles and leadership, it has become a place to honor the First Nations history, people and the land; a place of song, of art, of nature, of connection and where we turn ideas into action.
Transformation happens at P’ipa:m Lelum -Frog House. Read more>>
‘Make It’ Program P’ipa:m Lelum Mural – Atheana Picha Read more>>
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Waacus Salee Programs Staff Team
Ancel Xiaoyu Zhu
Communications and Fundraising Coordinator
My name is Gloria Tsui. I was born on the traditional, unceded and occupied territories of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations and have lived here as an uninvited guest ever since.
I grew up in a Chinese-Canadian family with immigrant parents who worked hard to keep their ancestral culture alive in their children. Thus I have a strong connection with my Chinese identity and a deep sense of the immigrant experience. Now I live with my daughter and partner in an intergenerational household.
Working at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House has taught me a lot about what it means to be a part of community. It’s been a great honour to be a part of the Waacus Salee team working towards decolonizing ourselves and our community. I’m passionate about this work and believe it is the path towards living sustainably on this precious earth.
Jess Seegerts is a Dene -Cree facilitator and member of Fond du Lac First Nation.
Jess is passionate about indigenous culture and language revitalization through an intergenerational knowledge exchange.
As an advocate for indigenous rights and awareness, she aims to focus on engaging and building connections between newcomers and the Indigenous community.
Jess is a life-giver of four children + a fur baby named Princess. You can always count on Jess to bring joy, education and excitement wherever they may go.
She loves dancing, singing and the outdoors and makes it a priority to spend time with both water and land at every opportunity.
Communications and Fundraising Coordinator
Hi, I’m Ancel. Xiaoyu Zhu is my Chinese name.
I grew up in Mainland China, spent most of my adult years in Hong Kong, moved to the beautiful Turtle Island in 2019, and now a settler on the stolen lands of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. I am feeling grateful for the opportunity to learn about Indigenous history and culture as a newcomer through my work at Frog Hollow.
Naturally, I am a curious person and always seek new things and venture forth. I see myself as a futurist, a feminist, a constructive rule-breaker and an advocate for systemic changes that serve BIPOC communities. One thing I am good at is to get people excited about the things I’m excited about. Among them is the Frog Hollow Community.
I first knew about Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House through my overseas placement as a student Social Worker at the University of Hong Kong back in 2016. I fell in love with this community and made my journey back “home” after 3 years. Right now, I create social media content and write stories about this community of abundance so that more of you can be part of the many amazing things Frog Hollow offers.
Outside of work, I am an active skier and just started learning to SUP(Stand-up Paddleboard). Stand-up comedies are my go-tos on Netflix. My favourite boardgame is Catan.