Cesna'em, the city before the city

Cesnaem, the city before the city

Release date:


Running time:



Available on DVD

Closed Captioned:


Availability in North America:

Available in CanadaAvailable in the US

Outside North America? Click here for availability information.

  • Audience level:
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Adult
  • General

In cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city commemorates the resolution of a dramatic and compelling moment in the history of this place now known as metro Vancouver, British Columbia. In late 2011, the Musqueam First Nation learned that a 108-unit condo development was being planned at one of their ancestral village sites without prior consultation with the nation.

The ancient site, dating back over 4,000 years, has always been known to the Musqueam as "cə̓snaʔəm", and has commonly been referred to by others as the "Eburne Midden", the "Marpole Midden", the "Great Fraser Midden", and "DhRs-1". Following the news of the planned condo development, the Musqueam learned that ancestral remains were unearthed during an archeological "investigation" prior to development. This led Musqueam community members to physically halt construction by holding vigil at the site round the clock for over 200 days while Musqueam leaders, the City of Vancouver, the BC Provincial Government and the condo developers struggled to find resolution.

Through the voices of the Musqueam First Nation, cə̓snaʔəm, the city before the city shares deeply-rooted community knowledge of Musqueam's living culture and ongoing relationship with their ancestral and unceded territory now known as metro Vancouver.


Bottom Border

purchase online

1. Select Site Type

Definition of Institutions use

Purchase at our INSTITUTION level price if you are from a...

  • University / College
  • School board / district
  • Government agency
  • Business or association

Note: Price does not include Inter-library loan rights

Please contact us if you have difficulty selecting a price level.

Definition of Community use

Purchase at our COMMUNITY level price if you are from a...

  • Single K-12 school
  • Registered not-for-profit / community organization
  • Public library (please contact us directly for multi-copy discounts)

Note: Price does not include right to circulate program to other schools within district

Please contact us if you have difficulty selecting a price level.

2: Select Format:

License Inquiries

Click here to request licenses for: rental and exhibition, streaming, duplication or other inquiries.

Click here for ORDER inquiries outside of North America