CMA Outstanding Achievement


For programming that advances knowledge and understanding by reaching new audiences or enhancing existing ones.

Indigenous History in Burnaby Resource Guide and Programming

This award is presented to Burnaby Village Museum, Tsleil-Waututh, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh, and Kwantlen First Nations, and Burnaby School District 41 for the Resource Guide and Programming — but for the museum and the Indigenous communities involved in the project, it represents much more than that.

Hundreds of students worked together on this community canvas honouring the animals of this place past and present during the museum’s annual Indigenous Learning Week. Photo — Janet Hoffar, courtesy of BVM.

“It’s not one specific project, it’s really the outcome of relationships that we formed and we worked on over the last several years,” says Sanya Pleshakov, the Museum’s former Community Engagement Coordinator and team lead on the project. “At Burnaby Village Museum we have all worked hard to ensure relationships come first and time is taken to build trust and resources,” says Meagan Innes, a member of the Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh Nation, who was part of the team of Indigenous curators, educators and artists who worked on the project. “I feel we have established a new way of working together and we have taken time to build inclusive curriculum, exhibits and spaces. We have also focused on staff training opportunities to ensure the truth about our shared history is embedded at the museum.”

Meagan Innes teaching students in Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh sníchim about the land now called Burnaby at the Learning House, a new exhibit space created by the museum’s Indigenous education team. Photo — Leanne Scherp, courtesy of BVM.

The comprehensive project included exhibits, programs, educational resources, the creation of Indigenous spaces, and even set the groundwork for Mayor and Council to officially begin acknowledging unceded territory. It was fundamentally “changing the way people at the City of Burnaby think about these relationships and this work, helping them take it forward,” Pleshakov says. “We need to acknowledge that all of this work was only made possible through the generosity of the people of these lands.”

Burnaby Village Museum Indigenous educators, Meagan Innes, Lacey Baker, Senaqwila Wyss, and T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss, in front of Tsleil-Waututh artist Ocean Hyland’s ‘Welcome Figure’ commissioned for the Learning House. Photo — Janet Hoffar, courtesy of BVM.

Video of project provided by winner:

For more information on and to view the Indigenous History in Burnaby Resource Guide, visit

The Burnaby Village Museum would like to acknowledge the following contributors:

  • From Burnaby Village Museum: Dr. Sharon Fortney, T'uy't'tanat-Cease Wyss, Meagan Innes, Senaqwila Wyss, Lacey Baker, Candace Curr, Sanya Pleshakov, Lisa Codd, Lorenda Calvert, Dianne McLeod, Amy Willson, and Deborah Tuyttens;
  • Carleen Thomas, Michelle George and Amanda King, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Treaty, Lands and Resources Department;
  • Larissa Grant and Jason Woolman, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Intergovernmental Affairs Department;
  • Tracy Williams and Norman Guerrero Jr., Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh Nation Education Department
  • Ashley Doyle and Marilyn Carpenter, Kwantlen First Nation Səýeḿ Qwantlen Lands and Resources Department
  • Ocean Hyland, Tsleil-Waututh Nation artist
  • Brandon Curr, Mary Hotomanie and Karla Gamble, Burnaby School District 41 Indigenous Education Department