The Kaatza Historical Society is “delighted” to receive $35,689 from the Cultural Heritage Awareness fund for their project ‘Indigenizing the Public History of Cowichan Lake: A Kaatza Historical Society and Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation Partnership.’
“We are very pleased that we got this grant, and really pleased that there will be two amazing new displays for First Nations history in our museum,” said Pat Foster, president of the Kaatza Historical Society. “We have a protocol agreement between us and Ts’uubaa-asatx and have really enjoyed working together so far.”
Lake Cowichan town council approved a new display for outside the Kaatza Station Museum back in August 2021.
“It was just a formality,” admitted Mayor Bob Day of the green light given by council following the 2021 presentation from museum staff. “The comments from council were that it was spectacular. There was no other discussion, just approval.”
The money will be used on the first phase of the project, which is to update the museum’s internal displays “to be more inclusive of the Cowichan Lake region’s rich Indigenous history.”
The second phase could include indoor and outdoor displays and events and employ members of the First Nation to direct and advise projects.
Based on the conceptual rendering, the display could feature seating, two information panels, possibly flanking a totem. Bench seating and picnic tables may also be present. The display would likely cover 150 square feet on the front lawn of the museum.
Nuu-Chah-Nulth artist Josh Watts is the creative director for all projects stemming from the partnership.
“As a descendant of the Ts’uubaa-asatx people, I’m proud of the partnership between the Kaatza Historical Society and our people,” he said. “Through working together in sharing the history of our territory I believe we can strengthen the bond between our nation and the town.”