The federal government is helping Fraser River Discovery Centre expand its Indigenous programming through its tourism relief fund.
Federal Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault visited the centre on Thursday, March 10 to announce $150,000 in funding from the tourism relief fund.
“Canada is a vast, beautiful country with so much to share with both domestic and international tourists,” he said in a news release. “I am proud that, through the tourism relief fund, we are able to support organizations like the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society, who are working with Indigenous partners to ensure that all visitors learn of the significance of this mighty river and its history with British Columbia’s Indigenous Peoples.”
The funding will help Fraser River Discovery Centre develop Indigenous events and exhibits that will tell the story of the Fraser River from Indigenous perspectives. Part of this approach includes the development of a Place of Learning about the Indigenous heritage and teachings of the Fraser River, which is being developed in coordination with the Musqueam Indian Band and, through them, other Fraser River First Nations.
“This support will be key to helping us move forward with xʷtatəl̕ləm (Place of Learning),” said Lyle Viereck, vice-chair of the society’s board of directors and chair of the board’s Indigenous committee. “The activities and programs we develop and deliver with our partner the Musqueam Indian band will not only help tell the story of the Fraser River from Indigenous perspectives, they will also help us move forward with reconciliation and support the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
According to a Pacific Economic Development Canada press release, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Canada’s tourism sector as travel restrictions, both domestically and internationally, reduced visits to attractions across the country. In response to that situation, the federal government created the tourism relief fund to support tourism businesses and organizations in investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth.
“Canada is a vast, beautiful country with so much to share with both domestic and international tourists,” Boissonnault said. “I am proud that, through the tourism relief fund, we are able to support organizations like the Fraser River Discovery Centre Society.
Located at 788 Quayside Dr. on New Westminster’s waterfront, Fraser River Discovery Centre has a variety of exhibits and programs related to many aspects of the Mighty Fraser.