Nanaimo, just across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, is British Columbia’s third-oldest settlement. While the larger city of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island may be more familiar, Nanaimo has a charm all its own. Strolling along the waterfront, visitors find small shops and floating restaurants that have taken the place of rundown piers. Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street are lined with old storefronts and bars — if not for the occasional car, walkers might believe they have stepped back in time to the early 1900s. Nanaimo boasts a vibrant art and music scene and, like all of British Columbia, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation.
“The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin. It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped by a layer of custard flavoured butter icing which is covered with melted chocolate made from chocolate squares. Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mint, peanut butter, coconut, mocha), and different types of chocolate.” — Wikipedia
The story behind Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation: “Long ago there were no divisions between humans, animals and spirits. All things of the earth, sky and water were connected and all beings could pass freely between them. The salmon people, the kindest of them all, would pass through our village each season and leave their bodies behind to feed the humans, birds and animal people. They then would return to the oceans without their bodies and when they reached their homes their forms would look just like human beings, and their homes would look like the villages of our people. We change forms to help one another. To honour and respect this cycle we always return the bones and body parts back to the sea, to respect these salmon people. We respect these swimming people because of their kindness, determination and courage. They also bring the healing powers to the villages. Eagles are a source of spiritual power and wisdom that bring help, peace of mind and heart to communities. Long ago, elders sighted eagles soaring over the harbor and Jack’s Point. This was a sign, telling the people of the village that salmon were coming to feed the people. In our times of need, eagles would come forward to tell us to prepare for the coming of the salmon people. It is extraordinary that these same eagles flew over and looked onto the ground-breaking of the cruise ship terminal, during the blessing by former Chief Viola Wyse in October 2008. Together, eagles and salmon symbolize that we all are connected and dependent on one another. If we come together, like the eagle and salmon, we too will have a deeper understanding that will help us build strong, healthy and prosperous futures.”
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