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Ceremony held to celebrate Howe Sound's designation as a UNESCO biosphere (PHOTOS)

Squamish Nation launches ceremonial canoe to celebrate the designation of Howe Sound/Átl’ka7tsem as a UNESCO biosphere.

To celebrate the designation of Howe Sound/Átl’ka7tsem, officials from the Squamish Nation, the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative and Capilano University held a ceremony on Sept. 22 by the Squamish Yacht Club.

On Sept. 15, the region was finally recognized as a UNESCO biosphere, following a five-year effort by local volunteers.

The event on Wednesday paid tribute to the new development.

Squamish Nation Elder Latash Maurice Nahanee gave opening remarks and led a group of Nation members in an opening drum and song.

The Nation also gave a speech on the history of the Howe Sound and regarding the name of its ceremonial canoe, Skw'cháys, which was launched to mark the occasion.

Ruth Simons, lead of the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative, and Capilano University's Laureen Styles also gave warm remarks about the newfound UNESCO designation.