Please watch this page for updates as we make progress on this important work.
Reconciliation is a broad term for work that seeks to develop mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.
For local government, Reconciliation activities may include:
Since 2022, the City has identified reconciliation as both a strategic goal and key priority in its Corporate Business Plan, which guides all activities and work across the organization. By doing this, the City has committed to taking concrete steps to enhance its positive relationship with the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and other First Nations.
Coquitlam strives to build strong government to government relationships with First Nations, starting with kʷikʷəƛ̓əm.
We believe that honest and sincere conversation, an openness to learning and unlearning, and a commitment to cooperation and building and sustaining relationships, are central to advancing reconciliation.
As one part of its reconciliation work, Coquitlam has adopted the following territorial acknowledgement:
We acknowledge with gratitude and respect that the name Coquitlam was derived from the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (HUN-kuh-MEE-num) word kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (kwee-KWET-lum) meaning “Red Fish Up the River”. The City is honoured to be located on the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm traditional and ancestral lands, including those parts that were historically shared with the q̓ic̓əy̓ (kat-zee), and other Coast Salish Peoples.
For First Nations, acknowledging traditional territory is a long-standing practice and regular aspect of governance relationships and ceremony. Acknowledgements have become common across Canada at formal meetings, conferences and events as a sign of respect and reconciliation.
Coquitlam’s territorial acknowledgement honours and recognizes the original inhabitants of the land on which the city sits today. It is reflected in a variety of locations including City email signatures, corporate print and online documents, the City website and introductions for formal meetings and events.
There are several areas of collaboration between kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation and the City of Coquitlam. The following are a sample of projects that we are working on:
Service Agreements: Since 2005 the City of Coquitlam has provided water, sewer and fire services and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation for their community at slakəyánc (slah-kuh-yanz) (Coquitlam I.R. 1). This agreement was most recently renewed in 2019.
Streetscape Enhancement: A multi-generational kʷikʷəƛ̓əm team is designing a mural to be painted on the Town Centre Park Community Centre in 2024. To learn more read information bulletin entitled “New Art and Amenities Enliven Coquitlam Streetscapes”.
Indigenous Cultural Safety and Humility Training: To learn how to better support Indigenous People in an emergency, Coquitlam has co-developed with kʷikʷəƛ̓əm a program to deliver cultural safety and humility training to Emergency Management staff. Read more: “kʷikʷəƛ̓əm and City of Coquitlam Initiate Indigenous Cultural Safety in Emergency Management”.
Joint Flood Mitigation Initiative: The City and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm collaborated on a joint funding application for dike improvements and flood prevention measures along the Coquitlam and Fraser Rivers. To learn more read information bulletin entitled “City of Coquitlam and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation Coordinate Efforts to Protect Against Floods”.
The City of Coquitlam participates in or promotes in a variety of events and observances throughout the year that raise awareness about Canada’s Indigenous history.
For more events, visit Canadian Heritage’s Celebrate Canada List of Events (includes interactive map for Metro Vancouver activities).
The kʷikʷəƛ̓əm people have lived in their ancestral territory, referred today as the Coquitlam Watershed, since before remembered time. Today, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation has one reserve that shares jurisdictional borders with the City of Coquitlam. It is governed by an elected Chief and Council who serve a four-year term of office.
Learn more about the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm:
The traditional language of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm people is hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (HUN-kuh-MEE-num), which is the Downriver dialect of the broader language Halkomelem, one of the Coast Salish or Salish family of languages.
Read the language guide for information about spelling and pronunciation and to hear audio clips.