'Bring our people home': the bold new plan for an Indigenous-led district in Canada

The Senakw development aims to ease the city’s chronic housing crisis – and to challenge the mindset that indigeneity and urbanity are incompatible

The scrubby, vacant patch beneath the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver looks at first glance like a typical example of the type of derelict nook common to all cities: 11.7 acres of former railway lands, over which tens of thousands of people drive every day.

This is not any old swath of underused space, however. It’s one of Canada’s smallest First Nations reserves, where dozens of Squamish families once lived. The village was destroyed by provincial authorities more than a century ago.

This is a marginalized community saying, ‘This is how we’re creating value for our nation, and the public at large'

There is this opposition assumed between the civilization cities are imagined to represent, and the imagined savageness of Indigenous people

The Squamish Nation has waited more than a century for this. They’re not going to wait any longer

Related: 'Beggars in our own land': Canada's First Nation housing crisis

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