Coast Salish Speaker at Lopez Center

  • Sun May 5th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the Lopez Island Library

The Lopez Island Library is pleased to announce the date for the second speaker in the 2019 Coast Salish Speaker Series program. Lopez Library welcomes storyteller, classically trained violinist and U.S. Army veteran Swil Kanim at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at the Lopez Center.

Kanim is a member of the Lummi Nation and travels extensively throughout the United States, performing his original composition music and native storytelling. He considers himself and his music to be the product of a well-supported public school music program. Music and the performance of music helped him to process the traumas associated with his early placement into the foster care system.

Kanim’s compositions incorporate classical influences as well as musical interpretations of his journey from depression and despair to spiritual and emotional freedom. The music and stories that emerge from his experiences have been transformative for many audiences.

The 2019 Coast Salish Speaker Series is an educational project focusing on connecting the current residents of and visitors to the San Juan islands with the native history of this region. It is a collaborative endeavor among the Lopez, Orcas and San Juan islands’ public libraries and the San Juan Islands National Monument.

After his performance at the Lopez Center, Kanim will travel to San Juan and Orcas Islands to present at their respective public libraries. The series will include two more Coast Salish speakers throughout the summer months of 2019.

The Speaker Series is a project funded largely by the San Juan County Lodging Tax grant. For more information about the series, contact Malia Sanford at