Delivering a website with culture, heart and function

A thorny problem

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s website was dull, indistinct and difficult to navigate. It didn’t reflect the vibrant and tight-knit community, a distinct Coast Salish nation whose traditional territory is on the North Shore of Vancouver and includes the Burrard Inlet and the waters and lands surrounding it. But, launching a government website that also represents the Nation’s culture and connects with its growing community is hard. Previous attempts stalled out, mostly because the consultation required to get it right hadn’t been prioritized.

Navigating the wilderness

Capulet was privileged to join this project and we were determined to deliver a website with heart and function. Alongside web development partner, Affinity Bridge, we worked in tandem with Tsleil-Waututh Nation Communications staff to invite all levels of the Nation–from community members to Chief and Council and staff–into the process. Their cultural knowledge and contributions, informed the launch of a private member portal for Nation members and transformed the site design.

Out of the woods

The resulting website is a place for Tsleil-Waututh Nation members to much more easily access resources like community plans,  and housing and school forms and new projects. Equally important, it visually represents the Nation’s culture and values with integrated Coast Salish shapes and colours and digitized representations of weavings created by legendary Tsleil-Waututh weavers. Audio snippets were introduced throughout the site to introduce visitors to the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language. We’re so pleased with the website. But even more meaningful to our team are the relationships and knowledge gained along the way.

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