Squamish chief suggests tearing down Vancouver's historic RCMP barracks in spirit of reconciliation

It may be listed in the Vancouver heritage register as a building of primary significance, but some First Nations say Vancouver's former RCMP Fairmont Academy is a symbol of oppression that should be torn down.

The 1912 Tudor-style building was acquired by the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Development Corporation and Canada Lands Company (CLC) in 2014.

It's part of the Heather Street Lands, an 8.5-hectare parcel located between 33rd Avenue and 37th Avenue at Heather Street that the City of Vancouver is holding consultations on.

Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish First Nation says the building should make way for a space that better represents the process of reconciliation.

"The forced imposition of colonialism and the marginalization of Indigenous peoples from our lands largely was inflicted through the Canadian government, through the RCMP," Campbell told Rick Cluff, host of CBC's The Early Edition.

"The Fairmont Building represents some of that old healing that needs to take place."

Campbell said he doesn't want the idea that the building might be torn down to surprise anyone when the latest plans for the site are presented to the public.


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