Burnaby has announced it will contribute millions of dollars toward the completion of the First Peoples' Gathering House at Simon Fraser University (SFU).
SFU says the gathering house is a ceremonial space designed to celebrate Indigenous knowledge and culture.
Acting Mayor Sav Dhaliwal made the $5 million funding announcement on Saturday (April 22) at the site alongside Indigenous, provincial and municipal government, and university leaders.
The project was first announced in 2020 with B.C. providing $11.4 million and the university contributing $8.6 million.
It is expected construction will be finished in 2024.
"Longhouses are the centre of our Indigenous culture, as sacred places in our communities where teaching, learning, ceremony and protocols are upheld and practiced," said Ron Johnston, director for SFU's office for Aboriginal Peoples, in a news release.
"We thank the City of Burnaby for recognizing the importance of this space to the university and to the community."
The First Peoples' Gathering House will include a ceremonial hall for hosting special events of up to 300 attendees, dressing room, Elders room, classroom, wellness room, a multi-generational Indigenous peoples' lounge and food service kitchen.
"The City of Burnaby is proud to contribute towards the creation of this space for the learning, expression and celebration of the rich and vibrant First Nations teachings and culture of this region," Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley added in the release.
"As a city, we are committed to working with Indigenous peoples and, in particular, with the First Nations on whose territory the City of Burnaby is now located, to build positive and meaningful relationships."