Métis Nation members Tim Low, left, and Mike Calvert stand by as Snuneymuxw First Nation representatives Joyce White, Doug White II, Doug White III and Emmy Manson present Ralph Nilson with the Snuneymuxw First Nation flag. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Snuneymuxw, Métis flags raised at VIU

Flag-raising honours partnerships between the nations and Vancouver Island University

Staff at Vancouver Island University and the Snuneymuxw First Nation and Métis Nation “raised their hands” and their flags for National Indigenous Peoples Day.

The event, held Friday at VIU’s Nanaimo campus, included presentations of the flags to Ralph Nilson, VIU president and vice-chancellor, by Emmy Manson, Snuneymuxw councillor; Douglas White III, Snuneymuxw councillor and director of VIU’s Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation; Snuneymuxw councillor Doug White II; Joyce White; Tim Low, vice-president, Mid Island Métis Nation; and Mike Calvert, English professor and chairman of the Aboriginal University Bridging Program.

Nilson expressed the importance of the ceremony beyond the gesture of raising the flags.

“Thank you for us to be able to, on this campus, have the opportunity to have the flags flown – the Snuneymuxw flag and the flag from the Mid Island Métis – so that we can ensure that it’s a clear recognition and a demonstration to the community of our work together,” Nilson said. “So, thank you, and we all hold our hands up to you for that support.”

Doug White III said the Snuneymuxw First Nation recognized that the invitation to fly his nation’s flag at the campus was not something that was put forward lightly by the university. He also said Canada is at a crucial point in its history and that the education system is a “place of incredible power in terms of shaping what this country is.”

“This is very serious business for us, as a nation,” White said. “I don’t believe our flag flies anywhere else other than in our own community because it’s very sacred to us. It’s an emblem of who we are as a nation and as a people, our ancestors, our history, everything that we are today and everything that we ever will be … and I want everyone to know that we’ve agreed to this because of the important work that happened up here at this university, the important relationship that we have with this university. This place means a lot to us.”

Low reiterated White’s sentiments about the importance of the flags to the Métis and Snuneymuxw peoples and of the education system.

“It’s a sad history that we’ve got in this country, but by working together and getting to know each other and loving each other … we have a much better opportunity to understand each other and to not hurt each other and to move our peoples forward as a community, a community of all peoples,” Low said.

The flags will fly permanently at the campus’ Royal Bank Plaza.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ralph Nilson, VIU president and vice-chancellor, receives the Métis Nation flag from Tim Low, vice-president of Mid Island Métis Nation, left, and Mike Calvert, English professor and chairman of Aboriginal University Bridging Program. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo to consider HandyDart bus fleet replacement

New light-duty, gas-powered buses sought by funding partner B.C. Transit

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield near Nanaimo

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Nanaimo theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat

Nanaimo RCMP seek identity of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

VIU professor concerned about myths around insect apocalypse

Jasmine Janes’s work published in peer-reviewed journal BioScience

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Quarterway Liquor Store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read