Kelley Ware | Multimedia Coordinator
On March 6, Prince George officially celebrated its 100th birthday. Incorporated in 1915, the city has a lot to celebrate. Outside of City Hall, Mayor Lyn Hall, Chief Dominic Frederick, and Councillor Murry Krause welcomed guests with stories and cake.
The event began the way most events begin: with a recognition of the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. After the recognition, Mayor Hall briefly discussed where Prince George has been, where it is going, and why we should be proud to celebrate. However, it quickly moved to incorporating the Lheidli T’enneh as partners in Prince George’s present and future. “The relationship we have with the Lheidli T’enneh is one of friendship and economic development,” said Mayor Hall, “We look forward to moving the relationship into the future.”
This was an important acknowledgement, especially considering the checkered past Prince George (and Canada as a whole) has with its First Nation population. Andrew Kurjata of CBC Daybreak recently posted a Soundcloud story about the early history of PG that involved forced relocation of Indigenous people. Set to the music of A Tribe Called Red, it points out the problems with our colonial past.
It was an unexpected surprise that the 100th Anniversary of incorporation did not gloss over these events; the speakers acknowledged and accepted the fact that the history of Prince George goes far further than 100 years. The centennial celebration was not as much about looking at the past, but about moving towards the future. “The Lheidli T’enneh were here long before Europeans,” Councillor Krause said, “2015 needs to belong to everyone.”
Chief Frederick also spoke about the centennial and celebration. “Happy Birthday!” he exclaimed before discussing the idea of building relationships and celebrating what we have built.
“We have an interesting past and I hope we have an incredible future,” finished Councillor Krause before the three leaders cut the centennial cake together.