On Dec 3rd, 2015 Victoria City’s Governance and Priorities Committee voted in favor of a proposal repatriating a Lekwungen sacred site atop Beacon Hill to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations for the construction of a Long house. On Dec 10th Council will vote to finalize this action, but opposition threatens to derail this rare moment of reconciliation, community unity and an opportunity for national funding. Don’t let the naysayers win! Read the motion below and sign our petition to let council know how strong the support for this action is!
RESOLVED that the City of Victoria return to the Esquimalt and Songhees People a portion of their traditional territories, that being the area on which the ‘Checkers Pavilion’ now rests, for their use as a site to build a traditional Long House, to be used for First Nations cultural and educational activities, in perpetuity,
FURTHER RESOLVED that City staff be directed to work with the Songhees and Esquimalt People to (1) complete the raising of a First Nations Long House on this site before the end of 2017, to complement the celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary; (2) collaborate with the Esquimalt and Songhees people in applying for federal and provincial government funding support; and (3) provide advice and expertise to the project,
FURTHER RESOLVED that City deconstruct the existing Checkers Pavilion and prepare the site as necessary for Long House construction,
FURTHER RESOLVED that Council direct staff to expend the balance of funds remaining in the 2015 Strategic Priorities Fund (up to $32,000) to deconstruct the existing Checkers Pavilion (estimated cost: approximately $15,000) and pay for such other related costs as necessary to expedite the start of this initiative.
Background and letters of support from the Esquimalt and Songhees chiefs can be found here.