The Squamish Nation and the citizens of Vancouver have a wonderful opportunity for sincere reconciliation with the upcoming Senakw project adjacent to Vanier Park in Kits Point.

Given the horrendous history of the Squamish Nation in Kits Point, whence they were forcibly removed in 1913 and their homes burned to the ground, this emotional attachment to the area must be recognized and reconciled.

In this regard, I suggest that the City of Vancouver donate the sparsely-used northern half of the Kits Point Marina boat storage parking lot to the developers of Senakw, for the construction of an Indigenous STEAM School, that would provide Indigenous-led and culturally-relevant programming in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, to support a better future for Indigenous youth.

 Proposed location of an Indigenous STEAM School at the northern half of the Kits Point Marina boat storage yard.

In addition, I suggest that the Museum of Vancouver be re-purposed as the Vancouver Museum of Reconciliation, showcasing the history of Vanier Park and reconciliation.

Conversely, if the Squamish Nation and their development partners, Westbank, would dispense with their proposal to have a site access road run through Vanier Park, (that would use virgin parkland not within the Senakw boundary), it would demonstrate Indigenous Peoples’ environmental stewardship, which is so much part of their culture and heritage, as well as show sensitivity to the local Kits Point community and Vancouver’s park-lovers.

The opportunity for a win-win outcome is achievable, but the time for open, transparent discussion is now. Not after decisions have been made without public input.

Last modified: October 4, 2021

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