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

 

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

Kitchen fire in Nanaimo sends one man to hospital

Fire damage displaces tenant and visiting family members from Sixth Street residence

Japanese students visit Nanaimo-Ladysmith for cultural exchange

Students from Furukawa Gakuen High School hosted by mid-Island families this past weekend

Nanaimo RCMP look for missing man with memory loss and mobility issues

Robert Gillies last seen at coffee shop in Departure Bay

GUEST COMMENT: City should stop catering to fast-food drive-thrus

Eliminate drive-thrus to improve safety and health and reduce emissions, says guest columnist

Former Nanaimo Pirate selected Czech Baseball’s Coach of the Year

Mike Griffin coached national team during Olympic qualifiers

VIDEO: Merriam-Webster declares ‘they’ its 2019 word of the year

Declared word of year based on a 313-per-cent increase in look-ups on the company’s search site

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

PHOTOS: Competitive Christmas light display takes sarcastic turn in Princeton

Heather King of Princeton took a creative and stress-free approach to her holiday display this year

RCMP asks Kootenay cannabis shop to remove image of famous Mountie from storefront

Owner happy to comply with RCMP, but wants more information first

BC Ferries adds 170 extra sailings for the holidays

6 a.m. and 10 p.m. sailings added for busy season

Anti-money laundering agency warns casinos to watch gamers playing with bank drafts

Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, known as Fintrac, issues operational alert

Strata rental bans escape B.C. speculation tax through 2021, Carole James says

Vacant home tax won’t apply to cabins accessible only by water

Most Read