Unreserved visits Victoria: Can a city rooted in colonial history be a progressive site for reconciliation?

We're celebrating the Victoria Day long weekend — and we heard something about a royal wedding? — with a trip to Lekwungen territory in Victoria, B.C. Today on the show we're asking: Can a city rooted in colonial history be a progressive site for reconciliation?
Unreserved headed to Victoria for the May long weekend. (Stephanie Cram/CBC, Photo Illustration/Ruby Buiza)
Listen to the full episode43:44

This episode originally aired on May 20, 2018. 

Unreserved is celebrating the Victoria Day long weekend — and we heard something about a royal wedding? — with a trip to Lekwungen territory in Victoria, B.C. Today on the show we're asking: Can a city rooted in colonial history be a progressive site for reconciliation? 

A statue of Queen Victoria on the grounds of the legislature and totem poles outside the museum overlook Victoria's inner harbour - and represent the duality of a city that sells its colonial history to tourists while trying to reconcile with the Lekwungen nation. Jean Paetkau explores how that relationship is going. 

The Colonial Reality Tour is founded and led by Cheryl Bryce of the Songhees Nation, she'll take Rosanna on a tour of Beacon Hill Park to share stories, point out traditional plants and show her where the longhouses once stood. 

Rosanna heads to the Inner Harbour to ride a water taxi and talk to Indigenous artists selling their wares to tourists. 

We head to Songhees Wellness Centre, a multimillion dollar facility that houses the community's government and essential services. It also has an Olympic-sized gym, offers fitness classes and has a rooftop community garden. After checking out what's growing on the roof, Rosanna tours the industrial kitchen where community members are being trained for careers in the culinary field. 

If Steve Sxwithul'txw gets his way, Bastion Square in downtown Victoria will be home to the Indigenous Walk of Fame. He explains why he thinks it's time to honour the best and brightest of Indigenous talent. 

Plus music from Mob Bounce, David Morin and Liv Wade
 

This Week's Playlist
Mob Bounce (submitted by New Constellations)

Mob Bounce - Our People Were Sleeping But Now We're Awake

David Morin - Come Home

Liv Wade - Bows and Arrows