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Salish Sea Sentinel | April 20, 2024

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Indigenous centre plan in Nanaimo

Indigenous centre plan in Nanaimo

A cultural centre is being proposed on Vancouver Island that would give urban Indigenous people a place to gather together for everything from coffee to ceremonies.

The plan has diverse support including elders from the Snuneymuxw, Metis and Kwakwaka’wakw nations, Indigenous youth and the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre.

Chris Beaton of the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre said the 42,000 square foot space would include childcare and a public school. “Culturally, there’s a need to connect,” he said.

“There are so many of our elders now living in cities, as well as others. Our elders feel the need to pass knowledge on, and so many of them are sitting in apartments waiting for that to happen.” The space would also be open to non- Aboriginal people as a way to promote reconciliation.

A request has been sent to Nanaimo parks and recreation to build the centre in the city’s Beban Park. About $10.5 million needs to be raised.