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Celebrating the Musqueam Gathering Place and Canoe at YVR

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Musqueam Indian Band (Musqueam) are excited to introduce a very special space in the airport terminal, dedicated to Musqueam culture and history.

On Wednesday August 9th, 2023, The Musqueam Gathering Place, was unveiled at YVR alongside the centerpiece for the space, a stunning hand-crafted 30-foot ocean-going canoe – created by Musqueam master carvers who shared traditional skills passed down through generations.

In 2019, 126 YVR staff joined with representatives from 10 Musqueam families to embark on a remarkable journey that involved carving this canoe from a 600-year-old red cedar log.

The gathering place and the canoe are a testament to the rich heritage of Musqueam people. This is a place where airport passengers and guests can immerse themselves in Musqueam culture, learn about deep-rooted traditions, and gain a greater appreciation for the unceded and continuously occupied land that YVR and Musqueam call home. More than just a physical space, the Musqueam Gathering Place embodies a shared commitment to preserving cultural identity as well as fostering understanding and encouraging learning.

The Musqueam Gathering Place and canoe embody a significant milestone that highlights the collaborative spirit and deep connection between YVR and the Musqueam community. This partnership is further solidified by the Musqueam Indian Band - YVR Airport Sustainability & Friendship Agreement, historically signed in 2017 outlining the commitment to a sustainable and mutually beneficial future.

The unveiling will celebrate the latest of the many successes we’ve shared thus far, including the raising of a Musqueam Welcome Figure at Chester Johnson Park, the raising of the Friendship banners on Grant McConachie Way, and the naming and opening of xʷq̓axintəl’ ct [walking together] parkway (formerly known as the Templeton Corridor), and more.

August 9 also marks the annual United Nations International Day of World's Indigenous People. It is observed each year to raise awareness and protect the rights of the world's indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection.


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