History was made at the local museum.
On Saturday (June 3), the Agassiz-Harrison Museum hosted an opening reception for their first-ever travelling exhibit, “Our Living Languages: First Peoples’ Voices in British Columbia.”
In mid-May, museum staff announced the historic exhibit, which hails from the Royal B.C Museum and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. Visitors can experience 34 Indigenous languages from across B.C. and learn how First Nations communities are working to preserve and restore the knowledge of their languages.
Annelyn Victor, a member of the Cheam First Nation who used to work at the museum, was thrilled Agassiz could host the traveling exhibit as part of a legacy of Indigenous language preservation.
“My intention at starting at the museum was to see myself and my people being brought into the story of Agassiz and to be honoured in the story of Agassiz,” she said. “I was so, so happy to hear that (the exhibit) was finally here. I wouldn’t know who I am without my language.”
About 40 people attended the opening reception, including local dignitaries such as Harrison Hot Springs Mayor Ed Wood, Kent Coun. Susan Spaeti and Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon.
This province is one of the most linguistically diverse regions in the world, due in no small part to the many First Nations languages studied and preserved today.
The Royal B.C. Museum archives natural and human history in British Columbia. It is on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum First Nations).
The First Peoples’ Cultural Council is a Crown corporation dedicated to revitalizing and preserving Indigenous languages, arts, culture and heritage.
The exhibit will be open from now until Aug. 29, daily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.