Lil’wat Nation teen who built pit house from scratch features in APTN series

Talon Pascal has mastered many Indigenous skills in the hopes of teaching them to younger generations.

Talon Pascal fashioning a bow at home.
Talon Pascal fashioning a bow at home. Photo credit: Blake Jorgenson

A teenager from Lil’wat Nation will star in APTN’s Warrior Up!, a documentary series following Indigenous teens inspiring change in their communities.

Host, Joel Ouelette, met with Talon Pascal for the very first episode of the series. Pascal is reviving ancient skills, and hopes to pass them on to younger kids so they can be kept alive forever.

Pascal and his brother recently skied down Ts’zil, known by settlers as Mount Currie, a journey captured in the documentary film, Slides on the Mountain.

An archeology student at Simon Fraser University, Pascal was interested in the ancient past from a young age. He recently built a pit house from scratch using just a description in the 2010 book, The Lil’wat World of Charlie Mack.

Talon Pascal embarked on a unique project to construct his own pithouse, drawing inspiration from Charlie Mack’s detailed account in the 2010 book, The Lil’wat World of Charlie Mack. Photo credit: Talon Pascal

He spoke to Pique about the learning experience and the importance of passing on traditional skills to friends and family.

“Someone going out and building a pit house is not something you see every day. We live in modern houses now. We live in apartments, and we have jobs, so it’s not necessary. But I still think it’s important because it’s still part of our culture. You get people who still carve totem poles. You get basket makers. I think building a pit house is the same thing on a much bigger scale,” he said.

“It’s something that still needs to be kept alive. I know a handful of people in Mount Currie who still do bow-making, but then again, it’s only a handful of people. I definitely think it’s part of my responsibility to teach others.”

You can catch Pascal’s TV debut on May 11 on APTN. It can also be streamed on APTN-Lumi from May 4.

Story by Roisin Cullen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Pique News Magazine

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