The Kwikwetlem First Nation (KFN) today presented the Province of BC with an ocean-going canoe to be permanently displayed at the həy̓ χwət kwθə šxwhəliʔ leləm (The Healing Spirit House) at the Riverview Lands known by the Kwikwetlem people as,’səmiq̓ wəʔelə Place of the Great Blue Heron’ in Coquitlam. The special ceremony was attended by Kwikwetlem First Nation members, Council and included a dedication from Chief Ron Giesbrecht.
“Today marks another step in the reconciliation process between the Kwikwetlem First Nation and the Province of BC. We appreciate the Province’s recognition that the Riverview Lands was once an important village site for our ancestors. We also appreciate the opportunity for our nation-owned business, KFN Enterprises LP, to be involved in many projects either completed or currently underway at the Riverview Lands. In our view, reconciliation goes two-ways. The Province has demonstrated its willingness to work with KFN to right the wrongs of the past and dedication of this KFN canoe for display at The Healing Spirit House is our way of showing appreciation for our new relationship with the Province.”
The dedication of a KFN canoe for display at The Healing Spirit House is the third time in recent years that KFN has partnered with the Province of BC to ensure Coast Salish art is featured in public areas on its territory. In November 2016, KFN provided art for display in the Coquitlam Central Station on the Evergreen Extension of the Skytrain system. Last month, KFNE announced that all new Electrical Utility Boxes on the Riverview Lands had been wrapped in Coast Salish designs chosen by two KFN Youth, Fred Hulbert Jr. and Austin Joe.