B.C. creates funding program to educate public on colonial past

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B.C. is spending $30 million on a grant to help fund projects with the goal of educating people about the province’s colonial history. 

“It has been 150 years since B.C. joined confederation, but the history of this place stretches back to time immemorial,” said Josie Osborne, minister of municipal affairs. “To heal and move forward together, it is important that everyone sees themselves reflected in B.C.’s heritage and cultural programs.”

The 150 Time Immemorial grant program will be administered through the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation and Heritage BC. Indigenous communities, local governments and not-for-profit heritage organizations with an Indigenous or heritage mandate are eligible to submit applications starting in fall 2021.

“The First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council work in tandem on the revitalization of Indigenous languages,” said Lorna Wánosts’a7 Williams, chair of the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation. “We turn now to revitalizing our cultural heritage by focusing on the documentation, archiving and sharing the precious stories, knowledge and wisdom of the Elders and Knowledge Keepers for future generations to come.” 

Paul Gravett, executive director of Heritage BC, said the funding program will help people reflect on the past and look toward a stronger, more inclusive future.

“We think of heritage as something in the past, but really it is the recognition of who we are and want to be. We look at the past to acknowledge important events and great sacrifices, and to measure our achievements and our failings. This is why the values of reconciliation, diversity and resilience are so important to heritage today,” he said.

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