Vancouver History – First Nations 2

Vancouver is Canada’s eighth largest city with a population of 578,000 (2006 census), but only a tiny fraction of them are Native Americans. Over a century, the First Nations have been overwhelmed by people from all over the world coming to live on their tribal lands. Yet, it is their culture which is showcased by all the tourist PR to encourage tourists to visit Vancouver, and it is their wealth of spirit, wisdom and richness of culture which is “British Columbia’s” truest wealth.

It was First Nation integrity and desire to honor Nature that preserved the amazing resources of the province, which newcomers “harvested” with uncontrolled abandon, until recently. The tribes were /are pushed aside, and their warnings were / are often not heeded in the rush for natural resource plunder.

Now, finally, their voices of reason are beginning to be heard, and I think that there is new-found understanding that Nature’s resources must be conserved.

Vancouver’s metro area is the third largest in physical size in Canada, and it is concentrated around a beautiful harbor, with snow-topped peaks of the Coast Mountain Range as its backdrop. It’s strategically situated and the First Nations chose the site well.

But, it is hard to keep your culture when you are out-numbered almost 100 to 1, yet try you must, to be the counter-balance, to offer generations of wisdom. So I ask you to learn more about the 3 main tribes which have called Vancouver BC “home” for the last 3,000 years, at least.

* Musqueam First Nation is located just south of Marine Drive near the UBC Endowment Lands. It has an on-reserve Aboriginal population of 530 people living on a 1.91 square kilometre reserve*. Other tribal members have to live elsewhere in the surrounding area.

* Squamish First Nation‘s largest community is in North Vancouver on a reserve* at the end of the picture-perfect Lions Gate Bridge. In mid-North Vancouver, the tribe has 28 villages on 28.28 sq. km, 1,941 of their 3,292 members live on-reserve.

* Tsleil-Waututh (Burrard Band) First Nation‘s largest community is in North Vancouver, on a reservation* just east of the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge. The tribe has 1,203 on-reserve members; others have to live elsewhere.

They just have not set aside enough tribal land and a buffer to help First Nations maintain a semblance of their way of life in what is now an intensely urban area. Next, I’ll introduce you to the tribes, one by one.

* Learn more from the interactive and static maps at Vancouver Useful Links Archive from TravelVacationReview

©2009 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

Leave a Reply