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The First Peoples’ Cultural Council delivers $5.4 million for First Nations heritage infrastructure

November 14, 2022 at 11:03 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

From the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC): https://fpcc.ca/news/november-14-2022/

The First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) will deliver more than $5.4 million this year to support 16 projects that conserve, repair and develop First Nations heritage infrastructure in B.C. The projects are made possible with funding from the Province of British Columbia’s 150 Time Immemorial Grant Program to the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation (FPCF).

“This funding is vital to ensure Indigenous heritage in B.C. is protected for future generations,” said Karen Aird, FPCC Heritage Program Manager. “This investment enables First Nations communities to lead work to safeguard their cultural spaces and heritage collections, and demonstrates the urgent need for long term, sustainable funding to protect First Nations heritage.”

FPCC received 63 submissions in response to this funding opportunity and was able to fund 25% of applicants. Funding is awarded by an external peer review process comprised of First Nations experts in First Nations heritage. The funds are managed by the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation (FPCF) and FPCC administers the grants and provides ongoing support to recipients for project management, work plans and knowledge transfer.

The projects are part of the FPCC Heritage Infrastructure Program supporting First Nations communities in their work to safeguard and celebrate their heritage. Projects receive two-year funding to conserve structures, culture and heritage sites, landscapes and buildings to be completed by February 2024. The project proposals reveal the ways that heritage and culture are intertwined in every part of Indigenous life and speak to the significance of how these spaces are used and shared.

“The B.C. Government is committed to working with Indigenous Peoples on a path towards lasting reconciliation,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Supporting projects that contribute to First Nations communities as they work to secure their cultural and other significant spaces, is one way the Province is contributing to that much broader and critical goal.”

Funded projects range from new initiatives, to upgrades and improvements to existing spaces. Examples of current projects include museum construction, cemetery restoration and trail upgrades to access important cultural areas.

“The 150 Time Immemorial funding from the Province of British Columbia is a positive step forward in the continued journey of reconciliation,” says Dr. Lorna Wanosts’a7 Williams, Board Chair of First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation. “Long-term support remains key in revitalizing Indigenous heritage and maintaining knowledge on the land by creating spaces that continue to connect younger generations with the past, present and future.”

For more information and the full list of 2021-24 HIP recipients see the Media Backgrounder included below with this release.

Recipient Quotes:

George Chaffee, Councilor of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation (Kwikwetlem):

“The Kwikwetlem Historical Cemetery Revitalization Project is about healing and putting those who are buried there properly to rest. It is very disrespectful that so many of the gravesites and markers have been lost due to repeated and consistent flooding in the area for decades. The funding provided by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and First Nation Land Management Resources Centre is crucial in our long-term work to create a safer, sacred historical cemetery that allows us to protect, honor and show respect to those who are buried there. I am very proud to be leading this project and to be giving a voice to our Elders and Ancestors so that their lives are remembered not only for today, but for generations to come.”

Evelyn Edgar, Kitasoo Xai’xais Stewardship Authority, Klemtu:

“The museum project has opened a door for us to repatriate artifacts from various museums and has given us the ability to showcase who we are as a people and educate ourselves and our community on our history. It is a treasure box of who we are as a people that we can actually hold in our hands.”

Boyd Peters, Xwilexmet Director, Sts’ailes:

“We are both relieved and excited to build a heritage facility at our ancestral settlement of Poxwia on the Harrison River. The structure will protect the incredible archaeological history in this place and enable us to continue learning more about it. The space will also allow us to share this history and knowledge with others, creating greater understanding and appreciation for our heritage.”

Learn More:

FPCC Heritage Program: fpcc.ca/heritage

The First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation: fpcf.ca

Images for media, visit: www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/m74nrqohjtb45unvov9gy/h?dl=0&rlkey=5wvdw4uzucuiwfdz4p5eht7m4

For a list of project recipients, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/HIP_Program_Recipients_2021-24.pdf

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