Leonard Guy McCann (1927-2015)

Leonard Guy McCann (1927-2015)

This past spring, Rare Books and Special Collections at UBC Library lost a dear friend, and Vancouver’s museum, historical, and archival communities lost a leader. Leonard Guy McCann, who was curator of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for 45 years, and a contributor to our own collections, passed away in late March at the age of 88. We would like to share Stephen Hume’s lovely farewell in the Vancouver Sun in celebration of Len’s life and legacy.



The University of British Columbia Point Grey campus is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking Musqueam people. We thank Musqueam for its hospitality and support of our work.


In celebration of Aboriginal History Month, a new collaborative exhibit at the Library highlights the history of the Musqueam people before and since Vancouver.

c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city is an unprecedented series of exhibitions about Musqueam’s ancient landscape and living culture, at three distinct locations. As part of Aboriginal History Month at UBC Library, the curators of c̓əsnaʔəm have developed a satellite exhibit at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC) featuring belongings, replicas, images, maps  and video.

The IKBLC exhibit looks at Musqueam ways of knowing, especially the ways they know and connect to their territory, and their ancestors’ ancient belongings. The exhibit uses the term “belonging” instead of item or artifact to show the ongoing connections to the belongings of ancestors. For example, one case features actual belongings recovered from the ancient site, while a neighboring case includes replicas made by present day Musqueam community members.

“Making belongings based on oral histories and stories in my community is really interesting and fun,” says Morgan Guerin, a Musqueam community member and Councillor who made harpoon points and antler tools to be used in the exhibit. Guerin also created a Sturgeon harpoon, the first made at Musqueam in nearly 100 years.


Casts of belongings used in for the exhibit at MOA.


Belonging created by Morgan Guerin.

Located in the area now commonly known as the neighbourhood of Marpole in Vancouver, c̓əsnaʔəm was first occupied almost five thousand years ago. It became one of the largest of the Musqueam people’s ancient village sites – at what was then the mouth of the Fraser River. Over the past 125 years, archaeologists, collectors and treasure hunters have mined the c̓əsnaʔəm village and burial ground for artifacts and ancestral remains.

Designated as a National Historic Site in 1933, the site is obscured by an intersection of railway lines, roads and bridges to Richmond and the YVR Airport. However, c̓əsnaʔəm has continued to be an important cultural site for the Musqueam community.


The exhibition is open to the public daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., on Level 2 of the IKLBC, and will be on display until August 26.



About c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city

Musqueam First Nation, the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC, and the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) partnered on a groundbreaking exploration of an ancient landscape and living culture. c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city — a series of three distinct exhibitions, opened in January 2015. The unified exhibits connect visitors with c̓əsnaʔəm — one of the largest ancient village and burial sites upon which Vancouver was built — sharing its powerful 5,000-year history and continuing significance.

Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre
4000 Musqueam Ave.

Museum of Anthropology
6393 NW Marine Dr.

Museum of Vancouver
1100 Chestnut Street


About Aboriginal History Month at UBC Library

Every year the Library coordinates an exhibit for Aboriginal History Month in collaboration with the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, Xwi7xwa Library and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

Experience c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre's exhibition gallery, 2nd floor, 6.00am to 1.00am.


The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre is pleased to award funding to nine new projects as part of the Indigitization: Aboriginal Audio Digitization & Preservation Program (AADP) this summer.

Since 2013, the Indigitization: Aboriginal Audio Digitization and Preservation Program (AADP) has provided grants to B.C. Aboriginal organizations in supporting the conservation, preservation, and access of Indigenous community information resources. The six month program provides equipment, training and funding support to convert audio cassette tapes to digital formats. 

This multi-faceted program provides resources for the digital conversion of at risk audio cassette materials, to support cultural preservation and revitalization efforts. Over the next six months, the following communities will be undertaking their respective projects under the guidance of program staff:

Participant Project Title
Tsilhqot’in National Government Preservation of Tsilhqot’in Intangible Heritage: Digitizing and Enhancing Taped Audio Interviews and Gatherings from the 1960s to 2002
Musqueam Indian Band Musqueam Governance Digitization Project
Haida Gwaii Museum Haida Gwaii Museum – Digitization of Audio Tapes
Xaad Kihlgaa Hl Suu.u Society (XKHS) / Haida Language Society Xaad Kil Digitization Project
Treaty 8 Tribal Association Understanding Traditional Land Use of the Peace Region through Elders Oral History Stories
Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre Indigitization Phase II – Towards a Digital Infrastructure
Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation Digitization – Tape Preservation Project
Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group (HTG) Audio Digitization & Preservation Project 2015
Wuikinuxv Nation Wuikinuxv Tape Digitization Project

The AADP looks forward to welcoming representatives from each of these communities to UBC for an intensive, week-long training program later this month. Congratulations to all the recipients!

For more information on the Indigitization program, please visit the website or contact Sarah Dupont, Aboriginal Engagement Librarian.


About Indigitization

Indigitization is a collaborative project between the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC), the First Nations Technology Council (FNTC), and three First Nations communities: Heiltsuk, Ktunaxa, and ‘Namgis. Other contributors include UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA), School for Library, Archival, and Information Studies (SLAIS), and the First Nations House of Learning (FNHL).


Open Badges UBC, a Library-run initiative, is seeking new projects to test badge-based learning as an emerging technology at UBC.

Flexible learning has been a key focus of the teaching and learning portfolio at UBC over the last few years. Its vision is to enhance student engagement through the further integration of technology into instructional methods. The Open Badges project is doing just that through the use of digital symbols that students can collect.

These badges capture an individual’s accomplishments, skills, qualities, or participation in various learning experiences. They are then displayed across online platforms for students to demonstrate their competencies in a variety of learning environments.

Learn more about past and upcoming projects and apply to join the pilot where participants will have access to studio-based support, workshops and resources. 

For more information, please contact open.badges@ubc.ca.

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