Indigenous Cities

A series of aural-based offerings that invites you to connect to the land through the voices and stories of Indigenous memory holders and artists.

From the shores of skwtsa7s (Island of Dead Men), to the banks of the Sto:lo (Fraser River), Indigenous Cities is a collection of stories revealing the land they are from. These stories hold the wisdom of sχʷəy̓em̓ (ancient stories), historical knowledge, and personal experience long since obscured by the city landscape. Through music, sound, and storytelling, each unique offering, curated by Indigenous artists and memory holders, evokes connection and invites interaction with the traditional landscapes of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Qiqéyt (Qayqayt), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Kwantlen, and sq̓əc̓iy̓aɁɬ təməxʷ (Katzie) Nations.

skwtsa7s (Island of Dead Men)

ARTIST & MEMORY HOLDER | Chief Xusamda'as Tsamkwa'gatl - Kwakwee Baker

The small island in Stanley Park’s Coal Harbour is the setting for skwtsa7s (Island of Dead Men), the compelling story of ancient battles endured between Northern and Southern tribes before contact that set the precedent for things to come.

Qekiyeksut (The Boy Who Will Wander)

ARTIST & MEMORY HOLDER | Russell Wallace

Qekiyeksut (The Boy Who Will Wander) pays homage to the traditional name that has influenced the growth of three generations. Using music and spoken word, Qekiyeksut tells the story of identity in the neighbourhood of what is now known as Mount Pleasant.


ARTIST & MEMORY HOLDER | Quelemia & Chrystal Sparrow

On the territory of the Məθkʷəy̓, cousins Quelemia and Chrystal Sparrow share the teachings of the legend of the sʔiɬqey̓ (double-headed serpent), while having a conversation on what it means to be contemporary Musqueam artists.

I am Here Grandmother

MEMORY HOLDER | Rosemary Georgeson
ARTIST | Olivia C. Davies

In I am Here Grandmother Rosemary Georgeson tells the story of how childhood memories and the Firehall Arts Centre led her to reclaiming 4 generations of her family, all propelled by the love for her great grandmother.

The Promise (1864)

ARTIST & MEMORY HOLDER | Ronnie Dean Harris

On May 24th, 1864, upwards of 4000 Indigenous witnesses gathered to hear the words of then Governor Fredrick Seymour for the birthday celebration of Queen Victoria. The Promise: 1864, tells the story of this historical event and a promise unfulfilled.

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