National Aboriginal Day (June 21)


Musqueam elder Larry Grant
Photo: Glenn Baglo/The Vancouver Sun

Musqueam children playing Photo: Bill Keay, The Vancouver Sun

Musqueam children playing
Photo: Bill Keay/The Vancouver Sun

Vancouver’s First People
Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul

Level 3

On April 6, 2015, Vancouver had its 129th birthday.
But the city is much older than 129 years.

First people
Larry Grant, an elder from the Musqueam (muhs-kwee-um) First Nations,
says there is a long history
with the first people who lived on this land.

Artifacts (ar-ti-fakts)
In the 1970s, the Musqueam First Nations people found
some very old things (artifacts)
near the Fraser River on their land.

Long history
People from the University of B.C.
studied the artifacts.
There was a carving of a smiling man.
They also found pieces of a comb and a fire pit,
which were 9,000 years old!
Grant’s mother said long ago, “… we’ve been here all the time.”
Grant hopes we will not forget
the history of the first people.

Population facts

  • About 20,000 to 60,000 Musqueam people once lived in the area.
  • Many Musqueam people died of a disease called smallpox,
    the Spanish flu and fighting in the First World War.
  • Today there are about 1,300 Musqueam people.

Dictation exercise:

  1. Go over vocabulary with learners.
  2. With a partner, ask learners to read the article two times.
    One learner reads/the other learner listens. Switch roles.
  3. Write the word Musqueam (muhs-kwee-um) on the board.
  4. Ask learners to listen to you read.


  1. On the second reading, dictate the story.
    Learners write the story in their notebooks.
  2. After you are done, ask learners to go back to the article
    and make any corrections in their notebooks.