The East Van Skate Crows are privileged to be skating on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples – the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We thank the incredible Indigenous peoples past and present for protecting, defending, and caring for the land of Turtle Island.
We would like to extend the most enormous thank you to the Sweet Grass Clan for helping inspire and get us together for an amazing evening of connections, food, skating and friends. Last month after our Naloxone Skate Camps, Robert Epp (black eagle man) of Sweet Grass Clan reached out to EVSC and proposed having an evening where we connect.
We chose Stratchona as our location because earlier this year around 200 people called this park home before they were forcibly evicted by the City of Vancouver. When the East Van Skate Crows come to a skate park we acknowledge that we are coming into other’s spaces. Parks are homes for many people and as visitors in these spaces we feel very strongly about being respectful to those around us. Some people call parks home, some people come to parks to connect with their community and some people come to parks to skate. It is essential that we treat every person who uses these spaces with dignity and respect. Remember when you are at the skate park in the lower mainland you are not only on unceeded territory, but you are also in someones backyard, or possibly their living room.
The Sweet Grass Clan is doing amazing working in the DTES and it is inspiring to experience they work they are doing. After the skate event Robert and the rest of the Sweet Grass Clan headed to Oppenheimer Park and fed over 150 people in one hour. You can check out their website and get involved by donating and volunteering. http://www.sweetgrassclan.org.
“The Sweetgrass Clan acknowledges that indigenous people once had their territory, language, culture-vibrant and cohesive social, economic, and political systems held together by a spiritual worldview and a sacred response to Mother Earth and creation.
Sweetgrass’s focus is the ongoing and increasing need to provide safety and security to our Downtown Eastside community.
Harmony is achievable by distributing essential resources to the people who need them most; we provide hygiene products, clothing, and children’s supplies. We also offer connections to housing, mental health counselling, and re-connections to families in a non-violent and supportive way.
We are a visible presence on the streets of Vancouver and provide an early response to conflicts by providing conflict resolution, mobile witnessing, and maintaining citizen safety in these situations.
Most importantly, the Sweetgrass Clan recognizes that these values, traditions, and institutions remain viable today for the future of our youth.”
You can also check out https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/11/17/Sweet-Grass-Patrol/ for more information on the Sweet Grass Clan.
We would also like to thank @bearblackhorsephotography for taking so many wonderful photos and for sharing your wonderful stories with us.