Start date: 17 June, 2017
End date: 3 July, 2017
The Kanata Festival is first and foremost an instrument for reconciliation. Kanata is the Iroquoian word for village and the origin of the name of our country. To celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary this initiative embodies a profound concept to promote increased understanding of and reconciliation with Canada’s First People: Rename, Reclaim, Reconcile.
Most Canadians do not realize that more than half of the Canadian Aboriginal population live off-reserve and that the majority live in large urban areas. In British Columbia 78% of Aboriginal people live off-reserve and that is why Vancouver is called the Urban Rez within the community. The urban population needs a voice.
Time and again it has been stated that education is key to reconciliation. Most Canadians (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike) are unaware of the history and culture of our First Peoples. How many Canadians know that Ottawa refers to a people: the Anishinabe and in their language the word means ‘original people’. How many Canadians know that redskin does not refer to skin colour? Or, that the American system of government was based on the Haudenosaunee Confederacy? Or, that there are more native languages in British Columbia than official languages in the European Union?
The Kanata will be a celebration space, a site for the creation of a monumental art project that will remain as a legacy piece in Vancouver and will the launch pad for the creation of the first, culturally accurate, location-based digital knowledge network of and about Indigenous people, their place names, their traditions and their culture. The mobile app will educate, entertain, enlighten Canadians and visitors to this land during and long after our year of celebration.
The goal of placing 1,000 stories, tales and cultural markers will make 2017 a perfect opportunity to share knowledge and as Chief Justice Sinclair writes; “From understanding will come respect – both self respect for Indigenous people and mutual respect for all.
To share the Indigenous experience with all Canadians and visitors during the Sesquicentennial. To engage communities from across Canada in the process in general and youth in particular. Create an inter-generational experience as youth reach out to their elders, traditional knowledge holders and content experts to build the location based indigenous knowledge network.
To increase awareness of the importance of housing in building strong communities and the role of Aboriginal Housing Providers in providing housing solutions to Canada's First People and other marginalized populations.
To show how our ancestors lived in a sustainable manner for countless generations - thus emphasizing the importance of environmental stewardship, both historically, today and as we move forward.
We are seeking Traditional Knowledge Holders, content experts, educators, volunteers, community partners and corporate sponsors to help make the Kanata Project an exciting and successful expression of the Indigenous experience.