Indigenous Peoples Engagement
The Airport Authority recognizes that Indigenous Peoples are an important part of the community we serve. We honour the traditional and contemporary culture of Indigenous Peoples and we commit to mutually beneficial and resilient relationships based on respect, trust and meaningful engagement.
In 2016, we completed our draft Indigenous Peoples Engagement Strategy. The strategy contains actions across three time horizons: Short Term (2016), Medium Term (2017) and Long Term (2018 and beyond). It serves as a roadmap for our journey to create thriving, respectful and resilient relationships with Musqueam and other Indigenous Peoples in our region and across Canada. This is a starting point and reflects our preliminary thinking on how we should be moving forward. The principles of this strategy, which include respect, collaboration, inclusivity and innovation, align with various Articles in C169 – Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 189 (No. 169). In 2016, we met and engaged with our Indigenous Peoples partners to obtain feedback and identify areas of collaboration.
We continue to send our job postings to local First Nations and have expanded this to include post-secondary institutions with programs for Indigenous students. The expanded outreach resulted in a successful practicum opportunity in 2016 for a local Indigenous student participating in a training program through the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nation Partnership Training Center. The pilot practicum helped us understand how we can continue to partner with local First Nations to provide learning opportunities and work experience to Indigenous job seekers.
YVR Art Foundation
YVR Art Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization founded in 1993 by Vancouver Airport Authority that fosters the development and enhancement of B.C. and Yukon First Nations art and artists. The Foundation is partnered with three B.C. museums and has expanded its partnerships to include the Bill Holm Centre for the Study of Northwest Native Art at the Burke Museum in Seattle and the Field Museum in Chicago. The Airport Authority has an ongoing partnership agreement with the Foundation and in 2016 contributed $100,000 and other in-kind support. A volunteer Board of Directors governs the Foundation, while an Executive Director oversees its operations with the support of a Program Coordinator who manages the Scholarships & Awards program.
To date, the Foundation has awarded scholarships and awards to over 90 youth, mid-career and master artists. The Foundation provides a unique opportunity for scholarship recipients to exhibit their art at YVR. Over 60 artists have exhibited, contributing to our award-winning sense of place. In 2016, the Foundation awarded five Masterpiece Grants to artists from B.C. and the Yukon. Together with airline and hotel partners, the Foundation flew all Youth Scholarship Award recipients to Vancouver for a weekend to attend the Scholarship Awards Reception and see Vancouver museums and galleries.
Live Art @ YVR Take-Off Fridays
During our 2016 Take-Off Fridays events, we invited several artists to demonstrate their skills for the public. This included two YVR Art Foundation scholarship winners: James Harry, a Coast Salish carver from Squamish Nation, and Cody Lecoy, a Coast Salish painter of Okanagan and Esquimalt ancestry. The artists were a big hit with the public, who appreciated the opportunity to learn more about their culture and traditions.