Improvements are afoot at Tsek Hot Springs (also know as Skookumchuck Hot Springs and St. Agnes Well).

Indigenous people are using the springs for spiritual, cultural and heritage purposes more and more, many improvements have been completed and numerous other projects are planned over the coming months, however, the soul and vibe of Tsek will remain unchanged. To the occasional visitor the improvements and changes will likely not even be visible, except for the brand new Artist in Residence program featuring local Indigenous artists from communities of the In-SHUCK-ch Nation. Each weekend (weather permitting) we set up an art studio down at the hot tubs. Visitors get to work with the Artist In Residence making dream catchers, jewelry, drums or whatever their heart desires with our huge collection of art supplies. There is a fee but it’s inexpensive, and 100% goes directly to young Indigenous artists! For as little as $5 you can make and take home your very own dream catcher!

New additions to the art supply collection include beautiful eagle and hawk feathers (artificial but hand painted by indigenous people), real beautiful and colourful chicken feathers, a variety of real and artificial but very life like claws and teeth, a kilometre of real and artificial, but life-like sinew, real animal hides, and thousands of spectacular beads, seeds, and stones. The authentic Indigenous jewelry and art that can be made with this amazing assortment of art supplies is endless. Come to Tsek and check it out. Doing art at Tsek will add a whole new dimension to your visit, make you happy and provide you with a beautiful, personal, and unique souvenir to take home and spark your memories!

But that is not all that there is to do at Tsek Hot Springs. There are the hot tubs, of course, but there are also numerous fishing spots and trails in the surrounding area to hike, enjoy wildlife, look for medicine plants, or pick berries (the blackberries are huge and amazingly sweet).

As many of you know, Tsek Hot Springs has a new Indigenous look and feel, as inspired and directed by the Elders of the In-SHUCK-ch Nation. The heavy partying that once took place at Tsek every weekend has now been dramatically curtailed. More and more families, and fun musically, artistically, and spiritually inclined people are calling Tsek their favourite place to visit. Alcohol use is confined to campsites and is no longer allowed at the tubs so the vibe at the tubs is much improved.

We are still struggling with visitors smoking near the tubs so please remind smokers at the tubs to refrain and especially to deposit butts responsibly. Cigarette butts are partly responsible for the annual summer death of most life forms in the stream between the springs and the Lillooet River. Also, please refrain from using chemicals, bleach and soap to clean the tubs.

Other improvements at Tsek are the new foundations built underneath all the larger tubs and new cedar and fir siding around some tubs, and of course the constant repair of cracks in the fibreglass tubs.

All lumber was donated by Peter at FraserWood in Squamish! Thank you for the many thousands of dollars of Lumber, FraserWood!

Many of you have noticed the new decks installed over the past year. Guests no longer need fear putting their foot through the rotten decks. There are still lots of tubs that need repairs and lots of things to fix so please be patient. We will get to whatever it is about Tsek that bugs you… except the bugs.

Tsek also has a new store with food, drink, candy, and most importantly Indigenous Arts and produce at the cabin. Stop by and check it out. If you want a dreamcatcher but don’t have time to make one they are for sale at the cabin. There are also many affordable, authentic, locally made carvings, paintings and jewelry from the people of the Bear Clan.

For those of you wondering about the giant piles of gravel in the campsite, they are for road maintenance and improvements. Soon the road through the campsite along the river will be gravelled to eliminate the rough patches and potholes that turn into small lakes during rainstorms. The main road to the tubs was gravelled 2 years ago and is still in good condition. Thanks to Lizzie Bay for the gravel donation! Guess how much that gravel weighs and you get a free dreamcatcher! Hint. It weighs more than a 2000 square foot house.

Thanks again Lizzie Bay!

Another planned improvement at the tubs this year is a brand new underground plumbing system, thus the giant pile of 2 inch hose. This will ensure adequate water flow to the tubs. We just replaced all the outhouses and are planting thousands of Indigenous plants all around the campsite so please don’t collect firewood, you will be stepping on and harming baby medicine and food plants and harming the forest. The forest at Tsek needs every tiny bit of dead wood to fertilize and revitalize the soil.

As you may already have guessed, Tsek relies on donations. If you work for a firm that makes something that may be needed at Tsek, please come talk to us. There are too many planned improvements to list here in this blog, but to “get-er-done”, we will need donations of supplies, especially lumber, hardware, and plumbing parts.

So there it is, a few of the happenings and improvements at Tsek. Hope you like it. And next time you see someone with a heavy accent at Tsek, it’s likely one of our many volunteers who come to Tsek from all over the world to give their time and share their expertise. Talk them up, they have marvellous stories to tell from their home countries!

Enjoy your summer and see you at Tsek!