Georgia Straight Talks: Is the City of Vancouver losing its appetite for Indigenization?

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      This week, many who support the reconciliation process were disappointed that Vancity's only Indigenous director, Khelsilem, was not reelected to the board.

      The elected councillor with the Squamish Nation came fifth in a race for four spots.

      It's worth noting that the board of directors recommended him along with four other candidates in the 12-person race.

      The outcome of the Vancity election made me wonder if the results might have been different if Vancouverites had a greater appreciation for the Indigenous history of this region.

      When Gregor Robertson was mayor of Vancouver from 2010 to 2018, the City of Vancouver took the first serious steps toward reflecting this, perhaps most notably with two well-attended walks for reconciliation.

      The giant open space on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery was named šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square. The gathering place outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre was named šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn Square. (To learn how to pronounce these names, go here.)

      But that process seems to have stalled somewhat since voters defeated all the Vision Vancouver candidates in the 2018 election.

      To draw attention to this, I filmed a short video at Spanish Banks in Vancouver in this week's episode of Georgia Straight Talks.

      In the waters off this beach on the West Side, the local Indigenous people came in contact with the first European visitors.

      And guess what? They weren't British. They were Spaniards.

      Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith talks about the Indigenization process in Vancouver.

      The video above was edited by Lucas Renzo Giovannetti, director of video and animation properties with the Straight's parent company, Media Central Corporation.