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Musqueam and UBC

Getting Started

Located in the area now commonly known as the neighbourhood of Marpole in Vancouver, c̓əsnaʔəm was first occupied almost five thousand years ago and became one of the largest of the Musqueam people’s ancient village sites approximately two thousand years ago. Generations of families lived at what was then the mouth of the Fraser River, harvesting the rich resources of the delta.

Over the past 125 years, archaeologists, collectors, and treasure hunters have mined the c̓əsnaʔəm village and burial ground for artifacts and ancestral remains. The land has been given various names since colonialism, including Great Fraser Midden, Eburne Midden, DhRs-1, and Marpole Midden – a name under which it would receive designation as a National Historic Site in 1933. Today, intersecting railway lines, roads, and bridges to Richmond and YVR Airport obscure the heart of Musqueam’s traditional territory, yet c̓əsnaʔəm’s importance to the Musqueam community remains undiminished.

(From c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city)

Pronunciation

​How to pronounce c̓əsnaʔəm

The first letter /c̓/ sounds very much like "ts" in the word nuts. Note also the apostrophe which causes /c̓/ to have a slight popping sound. The /ə/ is similar to the "u" sound in "but." The /ʔ/ is a consonant with no sound, like the space in "uh-oh." (Source)

Exhibitions: Musqueam, MOA & MOV

Documentary film (2017)

Directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city commemorates five years since the resolution of a dramatic and compelling moment in the history of this place now known as Metro Vancouver. In late 2011, the Musqueam First Nation learned that a 108-unit condo development was being planned at one of their ancestral village sites without prior consultation with the nation. Not long after discovering the news of the planned condo development, Musqueam learned that ancestral remains were unearthed during an archeological "investigation" prior to development. This led Musqueam community members, of all walks of life, to physically halt construction by holding vigil at the site round the clock for over 200 days – while Musqueam, the City of Vancouver, the BC provincial government and the condo developers struggled to find resolution. Through the voices of the Musqueam First Nation, cə̓ snaʔəm, the city before the city shares deeply-rooted community knowledge of Musqueam's living culture and ongoing relationship with their ancestral and unceded territory now known as metro Vancouver. (Source)