a series of exhibitions and digital projects on c̓əsnaʔəm, a Musqueam village in Vancouver, raising awareness and igniting new discussions about urban Indigenous histories.
c̓əsnaʔəm is a 5,000-year-old Musqueam village and cemetery located in what is now Vancouver. As one of the largest archaeological sites on the Northwest Coast, it was a source of ancestral remains and artifacts for museums and private collectors around the world. The University of Waterloo’s Susan Roy helped create a series of exhibitions and digital projects called c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city, that examine the history of this place from an Indigenous perspective. These exhibitions focus on the ancient landscape and living culture of Musqueam, bringing a critical history of city building, colonialism, museum collecting practices, and Indigenous activism to public audiences.
Working with the Musqueam First Nation, the Museum of Vancouver, and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Roy has raised awareness of the significance of Indigenous history and cultural sites in urban landscapes.