Unidentified First Nations men in dugout canoes, date unknown, GOGSC G2009.010.001
Not only is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery located on Musqueam traditional territory, but the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast played an active role in the history and development of this place. They were fishermen, responsible for bringing fish into the cannery for processing; they were slimers, women who helped clean the fish before moving them down the processing line; they were tin runners, children under the age of 13 who loaded tins into the salmon filling machine; and they were comrads, to all their fellow canning line workers. Today, we continue to learn through Coast Salish people the value and appreciation for salmon as an integral resource, and an important cultural and spiritual symbol.
While National Aboriginal Day is officially June 21st, we will be celebrating and hosting a variety of activities in honour of this day over the week of June 18th to 25th.
Events and activities taking place in the Cannery over the week are:
- Look out for the big reveal of Yanik’s Organic Bannock recipe on our blog Tuesday, June 21st. Try it at our members’ potluck June 25th.
- Roberta Price will host special talking circles and medicine pouch workshops Wednesday, June 22nd.
- During the week of June 18-25 visitors touring our Salmon People exhibit, which examines the fishing history of the Coast Salish people, can get a firsthand look with a guide at artifacts that relate to the long traditions of the aboriginal fishery along the Fraser.
- View Shxwtitostel, the “unity canoe” on special loan for the summer. A canoe symbolic of the union between Coastal First Nations and British Columbia. Inland river canoes are a rare sight, so come on down and have a peek (summer loan).
- Kids can learn about Aboriginal peoples of Canada through crafts, games, and activities in the Cannery’s craft area (all week).
- Kids, keep an eye out for our special collection of teaching materials, learn more about Coast Salish and Northwest Coast cultural goods, such as bentwood boxes, halibut hooks for fishing, and other objects made of cedar (all week).