c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city commemorates five years since the resolution of a dramatic moment in the history of this place now known as metro Vancouver. In late 2011, the Musqueam First Nation learned that a 108-unit condo development was being planned at one of their ancestral village sites without prior consultation with the nation. The ancient site, dating back over 4,000 years, has always been known to Musqueam as c̓əsnaʔəm, but has commonly been referred to as the Eburne Midden, the Marpole Midden, the Great Fraser Midden, and DhRs-1. Not long after discovering the news of the planned condo development, Musqueam learned that ancestral remains were unearthed during an archeological “investigation” prior to development. This led Musqueam community members, of all walks of life, to physically halt construction by holding vigil at the site round the clock for over 200 days – while Musqueam, the City of Vancouver, the BC provincial government and the condo developers struggled to find a resolution. Through the voices of the Musqueam First Nation, c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city shares deeply-rooted community knowledge of Musqueam’s living culture and ongoing relationship with their ancestral and unceded territory now known as metro Vancouver.
Duration: 73 minutes
Director(s): Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (Kainai First Nation & Sami, Norway)