Indigenous communities, local governments and heritage organizations in British Columbia will soon have access to funding for projects that spotlight the Province’s diverse cultural heritage.
“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. This is an opportunity for people to learn more about B.C.’s colonial past and to honour the resilience both Indigenous and non-Indigenous marginalized communities have shown. Let’s reflect on our whole story and what we can do together to make B.C. an even better place for generations to come.”
Administered through the First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation and Heritage BC, the new, $30-million 150 Time Immemorial grant program will fund projects that educate people about B.C.’s colonial past, advance reconciliation and promote inclusivity and diversity for the province’s future. 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, 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, Heritage BC, said, “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. Based on these values, this unique funding program allows us to reflect on the past 150 years and time immemorial and as we work together for a stronger, more inclusive future.”
The program will support projects in B.C. communities focused on reconciliation and building resiliency throughout the next 150 years and beyond, honouring B.C.’s diverse cultural heritage.
“We are at a pivotal moment in history,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We must acknowledge our past and continue to move forward in the inclusive spirit of true and lasting reconciliation. These grants will help communities further define B.C.’s diversity by sharing our many cultures. I look forward to seeing all of the events and projects that take shape and learning how they will enrich our communities for a brighter future."
The 150 Time Immemorial grant program will open for an initial intake in fall 2021. Details on eligibility for project funding will be announced at that time.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs local government and First Nations relations:
First Peoples Cultural Foundation: https://fpcf.ca/
Heritage BC: https://heritagebc.ca/
Get involved – Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/declaration-act/