Retired City of Vancouver planner Michael Gordon has created the YouTube  documentary video below about the history of Sen̓áḵw  between 1869 – 1966, what was once referred to as the Kitsilano Indian Reserve.  Michael states “It’s my personal reconciliation project throughout the ‘unsettlement’ and expropriation of the reserve in the 19th and 20th centuries.” 

Michael also shares this link of the Vancouver Archives’ written transcript of conversations between early City Archivist Major Matthews and  August Jack Khatsahlano between 1932 and 1954 about early First Nations life in the Vancouver area.




  1. It seems that a really meaningful act of reconciliation would have been to give back all of the land north of the reserve to Whyte Avenue thereby creating a significant fee simple land parcel where a new community could be built to the city’s high aspirations on sustainability. At the moment the developable land is cramped up against and under the Burrard Bridge. As a result, the Squamish Nation are pressured to build to the highest density possible alongside land (between Whyte, Burrard and Chestnut) occupied with car parks, boat storage and a very underutilised grassed park to the lowest possible density. Giving land back to the would build on the initiative of ex-Premier Gordon Campbell who made it possible to give land adjacent to SW Marine Drive and the University Golf Club back to the Musqueam Nation.

  2. If ever there was an example of environmental destruction at a monumental scale it is the example of European settlers landing on the pristine shores of what we now call the lower mainland. A landing that brought death by tuberculosis to the local population, decimated fishing stocks along with the seal and whale population, resulted in clear cut logging, hard rock mining, rail and road building, destruction of the landscape, and the founding of a city.

    This is a story of destructive transformation that continues to this very day. We used to call it progress, but now it has a different name: we call it ‘Climate Change at a global scale’. It is something that we all talk about but can not manage to control. So, We have to conclude that it will control our future and not the other way around. We have to conclude that in the future our coastal cities will be flooded by the ocean, that some of our cities will be too hot to live in, that many of our food crops will not survive in a hot dry world.

    In the future we will have to migrate to more hospitable zones of settlement. It is happening to some populations already. It will happen to all humans eventually.

    1. You are absolutely correct. But I’m curious what you’ve done to avoid benefiting from the abuses of your ancestors and what you are currently doing to reduce your impact on the planet.

      Inspire us.

      There are things we can all reasonably do today that would reduce our GHGs and other environmental impacts by half. The rest will have to come through government regulation and society-scale innovation – which is happening and accelerating. But there is no excuse not to begin the personal journey to cut one’s own impact while society as a whole comes together to live sustainably. It is possible. Being defeatist or hopeless is not the least bit helpful.

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