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.

We are grateful at the Roundhouse to live, work and play on the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) Nations.

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 of the Roundhouse

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.

FEATURED ARTICLES
Interior of the Roundhouse: the entrance to the mezzanine level at the top of the stairs is framed by Indigenous artwork on the wall

Framing History

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) artists in the Roundhouse Artists: Jordan Gallie, Debra Sparrow, and Xuuyaah (1951-2019)Curator: Kamala Todd Framing History is about recognizing the deep histories of

Read More >

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 Artists’ 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

FEB 14

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.

MAY 5

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+.

JUNE

National Indigenous History Month

Take time during June to celebrate the culture, history, and achievements of Indigenous Peoples, as well as reflect on the sacrifices they’ve made due to colonial practices.

JUNE 21

National Indigenous Peoples Day (National Aboriginal Day)

Since its start as Indian Day in 1945, National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ contribution to Canada.

AUG 9

International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

A United Nations General Assembly resolution to celebrate the Indigenous Peoples of the world.

SEPT 30

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
  • CIRA blog post – How Nunavut Arctic College is bridging the digital divide in five remote communities (Sep 11,2023)