The Kaatza Historical Society and Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation are working on a display for outside the museum. (Rendering)

The Kaatza Historical Society and Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation are working on a display for outside the museum. (Rendering)

Kaatza Historical Society, Ts’uubaa-asatx granted $36K for cultural awareness project

Partnership will ‘Indigenize the public history of Cowichan Lake’

Two Cowichan-based organizations are benefitting from nearly $500,000 in grants from Heritage BC’s 150 Time Immemorial Grant Program.

Kaatza Historical Society has received $35,689 from the Cultural Heritage Awareness fund for the project Indigenizing the Public History of Cowichan Lake: A Kaatza Historical Society and Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation Partnership.

It was one of 40 projects that got 150 Time Immemorial Grant funding under the Cultural Heritage Awareness banner.

“Congratulations to the Kaatza Historical Society,” said Ts’uubaa-asatx operations manager Aaron Hamilton. While a partner in the project, Hamilton deferred to the Historical Society for further comments as the society applied for the grant.

The Kaatza Historical Society was not immediately available for comment.

Based on the conceptual rendering done by a young carver who is part of the Ts’uubaa-asatx First Nation, 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.

Lake Cowichan Town council has already approved the new display for outside the Kaatza Station Museum.

According to a press release naming the 92 recipients of the $10 million fund, “the grant program is intended to raise cultural awareness, educate people about B.C.’s colonial past and its ongoing impacts, advance reconciliation and promote inclusivity and diversity as a foundational aspect of B.C.’s future.”

“From exhibitions and oral history to documentaries and cultural centres, these projects will serve to revitalize cultural heritage and share vital knowledge, which will help strengthen B.C. communities and our collective understanding of each other,” said Nathan Cullen, minister of Municipal Affairs. “Our government is committed to reconciliation, diversity and inclusion, and supporting cultural awareness in communities throughout the province in order to expand our understanding of B.C.’s shared history.”

Along with the Historial Society’s grant, Cowichan Bay’s Cowichan Wooden Boat Society received $460,000 from the 150 Time Immemorial Grant Program’s Cultural Heritage Infrastructure pot, of which there were 32 project funding recipients. The Wooden Boat Society has a Heritage Pier Rehabilitation Project underway.

“The projects being funded are truly inspirational in their innovation and partnership collaboration,” said Kirstin Clausen, executive director of Heritage BC. “This grant is encouraging the broadening of the definition of heritage to include what is described as intangible cultural heritage. Heritage BC is excited to connect with many organizations and local governments who might not have considered themselves aligned with heritage. Yet their projects are responding to the values of reconciliation, diversity and resiliency — values very important to the modern context of heritage.”

The release noted that many of the infrastructure projects will reinvigorate public spaces by incorporating and recognizing indigenous history. Awareness and engagement projects are supporting community healing but also celebrating important milestones.

“150 TIGP has shown us that British Columbians embrace heritage and are creative in their intent to respond to what communities need and value,” said Britney Dack, chair of Heritage BC’s board of directors. “I would like to thank the Province of B.C. for their trust in Heritage BC and all applicants for their time to submit their projects. There were many more projects than funding available and the response shows us that British Columbia’s heritage is rich and there is a commitment to reconciliation in all its forms.”

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