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Vancouver Fraser Port Authority helps fund Indigenous coordinator position at New West centre

Indigenous education and engagement coordinator will work with Musqueam community to develop a vision for a Place of Learning
Sapperton Landing
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is funding an Indigenous education and engagement coordinator who will help develop the vision for a Place of Learning About the Indigenous Heritage and Teachings of the Fraser River.

The Fraser River Discovery Centre Society is searching for an Indigenous education and engagement coordinator who will play a key role working with the Musqueam community to help develop the vision for a Place of Learning About the Indigenous Heritage and Teachings of the Fraser River. 

The new contract position is being made possible through funding from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

“I want to thank the port authority for its support of this new position,” Musqueam Indian Band (MIB) Coun. Nolan Charles said in a news release. “As an initiative being led by the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people, it is critical that the vision for xʷtatəl̕ləm (a Place of Learning) be developed with input from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.”  

The Musqueam Indian Band and the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society announced xʷtatəl̕ləm (a Place of Learning) in late 2020. In addition to telling the history and stories of the Fraser River from an Indigenous perspective, it will also help the society to meet its commitments to reconciliation and the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

“As supporters of Musqueam and the Fraser River Discovery Centre, we are proud to help fund this important initiative that celebrates Indigenous stories and contributions of the Fraser River, which are integral to the history and future of British Columbia,” Duncan Wilson, vice president, environment, community and government affairs at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, sad in the news release. “We greatly value the relationship we have with both parties and look forward to the establishment of the Place of Learning as a space to centre an Indigenous voice for heritage and teachings about the Fraser River.”  

The FRDC is looking to fill this position from within the Musqueam community. Once hired, the coordinator will work with the Musqueam Indian Band and the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society on ways to get input from that community on what xʷtatəl̕ləm (a Place of Learning) could look like and will also help develop new educational materials related to the history of the Fraser River.     

Fraser River Discovery Centre’s interactive exhibits and programming aim to showcase the Fraser River’s role in shaping B.C.’s ecological, cultural and economic diversity. The Place of Learning is intended to be a space where people can go and gain an understanding of the Indigenous history of the Fraser River watershed.

“The idea of expanding our centre as a Place of Learning for Indigenous history of the Fraser River builds on our existing First Nations exhibits and programming, and is consistent with our role as the ‘Voice of the Fraser,’” Mark Rizzo, chair of Fraser River Discovery Centre’s board of directors, said when the partnership was announced in late 2020. “It will also help governments, industry and society continue to meet their commitments to reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).”

It’s envisioned that the Place of Learning will include a permanent exhibit and programming at Fraser River Discovery Centre, but the details have yet to be worked out.

More information about the Indigenous education and engagement coordinator position can be found at www.fraserriverdiscovery.org/employmentopportunities or at www.musqueam.bc.ca or by calling Fraser River Discovery Centre at 604-521-8401.   

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca