Planed for Saturday, June 25th, the citizenship and immigration Canada along with the Musqueam Indian Band will be holding an historic citizenship award ceremony in the Musqueam Indian lands. Never seen before in Canada an Indian reservoir intends to reach out to new immigrants and share Canadian pride from its very origin. New citizens will enjoy a celebration like no other, an evening to remember.
“The history of First Nations’ relationship with the Canadian government hasn’t always been a good one, with some of the policies that were put in place — the assimilation policies and things of that nature,” said Wade Grant, Musqueam Indian Band councilor and business operations coordinator.
Back in the 19th century Canada’s government started an assimilation program with regional schools that basically destroyed aboriginal language and culture, To this date Canada blames itself for this atrocity. This is an attempt of reconciliation between the Musquean people and the Canadian government.
“New comers are poorly informed about their aboriginal cultures, we believe that these cultures are very important in building the Canadian spirit and pride. This way we are attempting to show new citizens a small bit of rich native cultures”, said Grant.
“There is this notion about aborigines, close and shy not willing to be included in society and unreachable and we’re not,” he added.
The ceremony will be hosting 50 new citizens in June from the Vancouver area. The new Canadians will be enjoying a full day of activities in a citizenship ceremony like no other. Being the Musqueam community even more tolerant to immigrants than the Vancouver community is the greatest pleasure to share some of their rich culture with new citizens.
“This is only the first of many ceremonies we intend to hold, thanks to the institute of Canadian Citizenship for the help” said Grant.
Slowly they intend to include themselves in the Canadian society as proud citizens.