Vancouver, Victoria pay tribute to First Nations in Canada's 150th celebrations
Vancouver's Canada 150+ and Victoria's Year of Reconciliation celebrate Indigenous history
All across the country celebrations have been planned to commemorate 150 years of Canadian confederation but in B.C.'s two biggest cities, there is a twist.
In Vancouver the city has decided to modify the Canada 150 title used by the federal government to mark the sesquicentennial year by adding a plus sign, as in "Canada 150+."
Deputy Mayor Heather Deal says it's an effort to acknowledge and celebrate the fact that Indigenous history pre-dates colonization.
"Across the country people are celebrating 150 years of the confederation of Canada. Here in the city of Vancouver, a city of reconciliation, we're calling it Canada 150+. That's because we know that people have lived here for millennia, long before confederation," she said.
The City of Victoria put its spin on the year of festivities, starting with the unveiling of two new cedar carvings at city hall Jan 1. to kick off what it's calling the "Year of Reconciliation."
"Canada is a great country but one of our challenges historically is our relationship with First Nations," said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
"Victoria in 2017 we are going to be focusing our efforts on reconciliation with the Songees and Esquimault First Nations."
Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam said in a release that reconciliation means honouring the truth and reconciling the future.