Canoe a symbol of reconciliation

I had the opportunity to cover a special traditional dedication ceremony for a canoe to be installed at the Kwikwetlem First Nation’s new Healing Spirit House on the Riverview Lands, a provincial mental health facility.

The Kwikwetlem First Nation, along with representatives from the provincial government, dedicated a canoe at the Healing Spirit House in Coquitlam’s Riverview lands on Tuesday. The hand-carved ocean-going canoe will be installed permanently in the facility’s gymnasium, as a symbol of reconciliation with the province.

“In our view, reconciliation goes two ways,” Kwikwetlem First Nations chief Ron Giesbrecht said. “The province has demonstrated a willingness to work with KFN to right the wrongs of the past and dedication of this KFN canoe for display at the Healing Spirit House is our way of showing appreciation for our new relationship with the province.”

The Healing Spirit House will have 38 beds available for First Nations’ youth experiencing mental health issues by providing a welcoming and positive environment to allow them to heal.

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