Elders and members of the Kwikwetlem First Nation and special guests revealed a collection of First Nations cultural pieces today at Coquitlam Central Station, one of the new stations on the soon-to-open Evergreen extension.
In recognition of the Kwikwetlem First Nation, their artists and the nine cultural pieces displayed at Coquitlam Central Station, a traditional ceremony was performed by the Kwikwetlem First Nation. The traditional ceremony was also held to recognize the Evergreen funding partners’ and local municipalities’ commitments to celebrating and acknowledging First Nations heritage and culture.
“The Government of Canada is committed to building on our strong relationship with our country’s Indigenous peoples. The inclusion of First Nations cultural pieces at this station illustrates the solid partnership we have,” said Ron McKinnon, Member of Parliament for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. Thousands of riders will enjoy and learn from these cultural pieces each day, making this station a source of pride for the Kwikwetlem First Nation and all Canadians.”
“The Evergreen Project team has worked closely with the Kwikwetlem First Nation to incorporate Kwikwetlem First Nation cultural pieces into this station,” said Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for TransLink. “This collaboration speaks to the respectful relationship that has been built with the Kwikwetlem people, and provides an opportunity to acknowledge, commemorate, and celebrate the connection of the Kwikwetlem First Nation to these lands – past and present.”
The cultural pieces are displayed throughout the station in honour of the Kwikwetlem First Nation’s culture and to the enjoyment of the travelling public. They include a traditional river canoe displayed from the station concourse ceiling, an etched glass panel, a welcome panel at the south escalators and six original prints that have been installed as transparent window decals on the glazing panels. The cultural pieces have been designed with an educational component to give visitors the opportunity to learn about the Kwikwetlem people.
“This is a very important event for Kwikwetlem First Nation,” said Kwikwetlem First Nation Chief Ron Giesbrecht. “Through the cultural pieces housed in the station there is an opportunity for recognition and celebration of our Nation and of our connection to our ancestral lands. It is our hope that these pieces will provide an opportunity for learning - for people using Coquitlam Central Station to understand more about our Nation, our culture and our history.”
“While the beautiful cultural pieces displayed at Coquitlam Central Station encourages and promotes local artists, it also demonstrates our admiration of the Kwikwetlem people and First Nation’s culture,” said Port Moody-Coquitlam MLA Linda Reimer.
An agreement between the Province and the Kwikwetlem First Nation has included funding to enable the creation of the cultural pieces that have been installed inside the station. The project’s Environmental Assessment Certificate has also required that the Province work with municipalities and First Nations to incorporate mutually acceptable and cost-effective public art and First Nations cultural pieces into the Evergreen project.
The cultural pieces will be ready for public viewing when the Evergreen extension officially goes into service, on Dec. 2, 2016.
The Evergreen Line Project: www.evergreenline.gov.bc.ca
Information in other languages is available at: www.evergreenline.gov.bc.ca/languages.htm
Twitter: @TranBC #EvergreenlineBC