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Aboriginal healing and cultural centre to be discussed for Vancouver park

The fact that it's on the waterfront plays a role in its selection
CRAB Park in Vancouver could be the site of an Aboriginal healing and culture centre.

CRAB Park in downtown Vancouver could one day be the home of an Aboriginal healing and cultural centre.

The idea is being brought forward at the next Vancouver parks board meeting where Comm. John Irwin has put forward a motion directing staff to find out if it's possible, as the land is technically leased from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

Earlier this year the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) passed a motion requesting the parks board, along with the city and port authority, work with local First Nations and Indigenous organizations to establish a healing lodge at the site.

Irwin's motion addresses that request and notes that CRAB Park is an ideal location as it's one of the only city parks on the waterfront.

"Waterfront spaces are critically important both culturally and ecologically to the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and every opportunity should be sought to partner with them on the potential of such spaces," states the motion.

Those nations would also be consulted in the process to find out their interest in participating in the project.

Irwin's motion also would direct staff to begin work on sourcing funding for the project, looking to local, provincial and federal governments.

The park, located at the northern end of Main Street, is the closest waterfront park to the Downtown Eastside and has recently been the site of a tent city.