Vancity Helps Fund Indigenous Education at Burnaby Village Museum

May 15, 2019

Elementary students in Burnaby will gain a deeper appreciation of First Nations culture and history thanks to a generous donation from Vancity credit union.

On Wednesday, May 15, Vancity presented a $10,000 cheque to Burnaby School District and the Burnaby Village Museum (BVM). This money will support the inaugural Burnaby Indigenous Week of Learning for Burnaby elementary students this fall.

This week-long educational session involves local Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers and educators. It runs October 7-11 at the Burnaby Village Museum and is a partnership with the Burnaby School District.

“We’re grateful to Vancity for this incredible support to help share Indigenous culture, history and traditions with our elementary students,” said Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley. “This is a meaningful step forward to continue raising awareness and understanding of Indigenous knowledge and practices among our youth.”

This new Indigenous program complements BVM’s relationships with many local First Nations. This includes agreements with the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Kwantlen and Musqueam on a multiyear research project. Through these relationships, a team of Indigenous educators and cultural presenters have delivered year-round events, programs and workshops about Indigenous history and reconciliation on site since 2013.

BVM’s Indigenous Learning Week will to reach about 500 fourth and fifth grade students.

“It’s an honour to support Indigenous learning week,” says Kristin Schreckenbach, manager of Vancity’s Brentwood community branch. “We’re proud to be part of this valuable opportunity for students to participate in their personal reconciliation journey.”

The program supports the revised BC curriculum, in which Indigenous ways of knowing are integral to all subjects from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

“We appreciate this generous financial contribution from Vancity to support the shared work in our community around reconciliation,” says Burnaby Board of Education Chair Gary Wong. “This is a great opportunity for both our Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners in Burnaby schools to gain a deeper appreciation for our local First Nations history through an interactive experience.”

“Learning teachings directly from Coast Salish knowledge-keepers will inspire our learners,” adds Brandon Curr, district principal of Indigenous Education for the Burnaby School District.

“This will assist our educators in creating school communities that are inclusive of our local history and knowledge.”

In collaboration with the Museum’s Indigenous education team, staff also recently unveiled the new Learning House. Located in the heart of the village, the Learning House features the hən̓ q̓ əmin̓ əm̓ and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh languages along with a map of what the area may have looked like in the past. More Indigenous spaces at the BVM are also planned for 2019, including a Matriarch’s Garden.

For more information, please contact:

Sanya Pleshakov
Museum Programs Coordinator, Burnaby Village Museum
604-297-4546 |

Dana Bales
Communications Manager, Burnaby School District
604-296-6900 Ext. 661110 |


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