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'The Belonging Action,' 2011. Acrylics on crezone. 24ft. X 32ft. Harbour  Centre Parkade, Coast Salish Territories, Vancouver, Canada. 

What are the stories of the migration of diverse peoples and cultures to Coast Salish Land since immemorial?

Five knowledge-holders and ninety young people surface pieces of this rich, misheard history.

Ten young artists invited eighty other participants to reflect on their connection to belonging while looking back at the migration histories of peoples and cultures to Coast Salish land since time immemorial. In 2011, this process took six months to produce a 24’ X 34’ mural installed at Harbour Centre Parkade. Key knowledge holders such as Wayde Compton, Sit Tan Chao, Lary Grant, and Cease Wyss, were invited to contribute stories.  

How to move forward without looking at the past? How are we responsible for learning our history? Who’s lenses do we look at ourselves through? What are your people’s stories? Who decides who is welcome? Why is genocide still kept in silence? Do you feel welcome? These are some of the questions that followed after reflecting on belonging, and the images are anecdotes to some of the answers.

Facilitators: Shadae Johnson, Rosa Owusu, Elaine Ng, Chrystal Sparrow, Mat Nordli, Josh Reigner, Sara Kendall, Nadia Chaney.

Social Artist Lead and Facilitator: Melanie Schambach

Partner Organizations: City of Vancouver and grassroots groups.

Funded by: Vancouver 125 Community Mural Grant

 “I used to think that in Canada I will not longer be judged by my sexual orientation and that I will finally find acceptance among people like me. But the rainbow is not colorful anymore, this time I found discrimination and rejection due to my skin color, nationality, language, and culture.”

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