Editor’s note: This letter and others to be published in upcoming weeks are from humanities Teacher Brodie Robbins’ Learning Expeditions class at St’a7mes School (Stawamus). Students were asked to examine local monuments through the lens of cultural sustainability, and whether these monuments are worth keeping, what is missing, and what changes could be made to better reflect and preserve our diverse community. This was inspired by the Sir John A Macdonald statue controversy in Victoria.
We as a town should have monuments that are more meaningful than a monument made out of stone, copper or iron, with some writing.
Instead of public money being put into taking the monument down, building the monument, updating etc. the town could put taxpayers money toward a more immersive experiences such as a virtual reality built in to an existing building (ie. rec center or the adventure center), which would be way more engaging and more educational. Squamish would have to invest money, though not as much as a monument.
The money would be put towards hardware, the software to run the experience, the location, and
When one puts on the headset, they would be transported to their chosen period and be fully immersed in the experience.
The virtual world would be dense with action, and one would be able to walk and look around a room-sized virtual space.
There would be four time periods: pre-civilization, first nations, first settlers, and early Squamish.
On top of that, participants could choose a set location, for example, the top of the Stawamus Chief, downtown and Garibaldi Highlands
Would you rather have a stone monument with some writing or a full virtual experience?
This idea may be a stretch, but I think if there is a community push for it, it could be very well plausible.