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Cultural Connection

Indigenous Gathering Place In Surrey

“Coming together is healing. Culture is medicine.” Sam Jack, Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee Co-Chair


The City of Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia and has a diverse and growing population that includes a large population of urban Indigenous people. Yet, unlike other cities of similar size, Surrey lacks a community gathering place for Indigenous people to come together for community support, cultural events, ceremonies and services.

One of the characteristics of poverty, as defined by the Indigenous community in Surrey, is the absence of opportunities to connect with other urban Indigenous people in Surrey and share cultural practices, teachings and kinship. Unlike Vancouver, where a dynamic community of Indigenous people, service providers, and cultural spaces and places already exist; Surrey has little to no Indigenous community-based infrastructure. Indigenous community members in Surrey have reported feeling invisible, isolated, and alone. On this point, community members have spoken: Surrey needs a purpose-built Indigenous centre that can accommodation Indigenous cultural activities and community connections. 

The vision for the gathering place includes: 

  • A place that can accommodate a drum night, a pow-wow, a regalia class, a potlach, or an Indigenous graduation ceremony; 
  • A place for offices and meeting rooms that can be used by Indigenous service providers and break down barriers that Indigenous people face when trying to access support and community services; 
  • A place that can facilitate and support social and cultural connections; 
  • and A place that gives visibility to the Indigenous presence in Surrey
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All Our Relations: Honouring the Host Nations

SUILC recognizes that we operate on the unceded, ancestral, traditional and current territories of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Kwikwetlem, Qayqayt, and Tsawwassen First Nations.