Working Toward Decolonization and Reconciliation
The Roundhouse was built in 1887 on the shores of what is now called False Creek. As a building that is integral to the founding of Vancouver, it’s important for us to do what we can to work toward decolonization and reconciliation, informed by the Vancouver Park Board’s 11 Calls to Action. Please use these Reconciliation Resources for help with school projects, learning about important Indigenous days, or to become a better ally to Indigenous Peoples.
Why We Have a Land Acknowledgement
A land acknowledgement is the starting point for non-Indigenous people to honour the place in which they live and the peoples whose land it is. It is about acknowledging Indigenous culture, sovereignty over their land, their history and future. All of which is interwoven with the seasons, the animals, the plants and trees, the rich life of this part of the world. By saying and connecting deeply with the words, we ask ourselves how we can choose positive actions, and engage with those answers. This helps propel our journey towards a decolonized future.
“There is a longing among all people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other.”
– Chief Dan George
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation Strategies
On January 12, 2016, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation approved 11 strategies in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action. Read the Park Board’s 11 Calls to Action from the January 11, 2016 Park Board meeting:
Indigenous Art Reframes the Roundhouse
In 2017, a dialogue sparked between Vancouver Park Board Arts, Culture and Engagement (ACE) programmers and Métis-Cree curator, filmmaker and cultural planner, Kamala Todd. In consideration of the colonial history of the Roundhouse in relation to the land on which it is situated, the group wondered how to initiate the process of Indigenizing the Centre.
Framing History by Debra Sparrow: a xʷməθkʷəy̓əm framing of the Roundhouse Heritage Gallery entrance, which presents a colonial timeline of the building and its history.
Detail of Karlene Harvey’s “I Am On My Way Home.” From Vancouver Comic Arts Festival’s 2022 Salmon Run Indigenous comic anthology.
ROUNDHOUSE INDIGENOUS RESIDENCIES
The Roundhouse Arts Programmers, part of the Vancouver Park Board’s Decolonization, Arts and Culture team, partner with local, Indigenous artists to offer community-engaged projects to citizens and visitors alike. Some of these projects happen at the Roundhouse, while others take place at various parks in Vancouver. Visit Roundhouse Artists’ Residencies to learn more about current and previous projects.
CALENDAR DATES OF SIGNIFICANCE
Women’s Memorial March
The first women’s memorial march was held in 1992 in response to the murder of a woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit+ Peoples
Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender diverse peoples are more likely to be violently assaulted or murdered than other CanadianS. This is a day to mourn those who have been lost, and to end violence against MMIWG2S+.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation/Orange Shirt Day
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a solemn day to commemorate the history and legacy of the residential school system. It was declared a federal statutory holiday in 2021, and was declared a BC provincial statutory holiday in 2023. Orange Shirt Day grew from Phyllis Webstad’s story about having her new, orange shirt taken from her when she was sent to residential school.
GENERAL KNOWLEDGE RESOURCES
- First Peoples’ Map – representing Indigenous languages, arts, and cultural heritage in BC
- Native Land – is an interactive, online map
- British Columbia Assembly of First Nations
- B.C. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
- Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre
- Urban Native Youth Association
- Metro Vancouver Indigenous Services Society
- Vancouver Public Library’s Indigenous knowledge page – has an extensive list of resources and links
- Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – based on the lived experience, leadership, and expertise of Indigenous survivors
- The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls final report
- Ally Bill of Responsibilities Poster (PDF) – © 2012 Dr. Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe
- DTES Carnegie Centre’s YouTube channel
- Shi-shi-etko – Four days before having to leave her family and home for residential school, Shi-Shi-Etko learns how important it is to hold on to her memories
- Residential Schools in Canada: A Timeline
- Vancouver Public Library’s Indigenous Storyteller in Residence
- National Arts Centre storytelling video series
- sθәqәlxenәm ts’exwts’áxwi7 – Learn about sθәqәlxenәm ts’exwts’áxwi7 (rainbow park) at Smithe & Richards, and how to pronounce the name
- Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s – a podcast by journalist Connie Walker and the team at Spotify’s Gimlet Media, won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize
- Love, Land & Spirit – is a podcast series about connection, community, culture, and Indigeneity. Written and hosted by a team of four Indigenous youth.
- IndigiNews’ list of favourite podcasts (published 2020)
- CBC list: 7 Indigenous-themed podcasts (published 2021)
- VPL list: 13 Indigenous podcasts
- University of Toronto podcast list
- APTN website – APTN is the first national Indigenous broadcaster in the world, with programming by, for and about Indigenous Peoples, to share with all Canadians as well as viewers around the world
- APTNtv website
- APTN News website
- APTN News YouTube channel
- APTNtv YoutTube channel
- IndigiNews – independent Indigenous-centre media and storytelling
- The Discourse – Vancouver Island news site based on community-powered, inclusive journalism
- CBC News Indigenous
- Global News
- CIRA blog post – How Nunavut Arctic College is bridging the digital divide in five remote communities (Sep 11,2023)