A weeklong exhibition on Indigenous culture, on now at The Shipyards, aims to inspire residents to learn more about North Vancouver’s First Nations communities.
The exhibit, Pulling with Our Ancestors: Lessons from Coast Salish Canoe Culture, was curated by MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) and National Indigenous History Month.
The outdoor installation, being projected on the stage at Shipbuilders' Square at night, is a loop of 100 archival and contemporary images, messages, and video clips with accompanying sound.
“The project was developed with our Indigenous Voices Advisory Committee, which includes members of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations,” a MONOVA spokesperson said.
“It is a celebration of local Coast Salish history and contemporary culture. From canoe carving to canoe racing, the projected images highlight the central role of canoe culture to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and səlilwətaɬ Nations both in the past and in the present.”
The curation will rotate from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m. nightly for one week.
The exhibit is being presented in partnership with the City of North Vancouver, the Lower Lonsdale Business Improvement Association and Seaspan.
Mayor Linda Buchanan said the month of June is a time for Canadians to recognize and celebrate the heritage, cultures, and perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, as well Indigenous resilience, strength, history, leaders, and more.
But this year’s celebration feels a little heavier, she said in release.
“The discovery of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School is still top of mind for people,” Buchanan said. “As we mourn alongside the families whose children never came home, we must recommit to dismantling systemic racism, to supporting the healing of those who survived these institutions, and to seeking justice for Indigenous people.”
She encouraged everyone to take a moment to educate themselves on the many diverse cultures, traditions, arts, and languages of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
“As we learn and unlearn, there are many opportunities for all people to connect with Indigenous history and heritage,” Buchanan said.
The exhibit will run until June 27.
Elisia Seeber is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.