British Columbia

Natives urge Stanley Park name change

Some B.C. politicians say officials should consider a suggestion by a native group that Vancouver's Stanley Park revert to its original First Nations name, Xwayxway.

Some B.C. politicians say officials should consider a native group's suggestion that Vancouver's Stanley Park revert to its original First Nations name, Xwayxway.

The chief of the Squamish First Nation, Ian Campbell, said Wednesday that the well-known downtown park should be renamed Xwayxway — pronounced kwhy-kway — as it was known for thousands of years.

Campbell made the suggestion at the opening of a native exhibit at the park, which includes a First Nations village.

B.C. Tourism Minister Kevin Kreuger, who attended the ceremonial opening of the village, said he "would happily carry forth a proposal to change the name of the park."

Vancouver Coun. Ellen Woodsworth said she thought the change to Xwayxway was an "excellent suggestion" and said First Nations should make a formal proposal.

Named after Governor General

The 404-hectare park was named after Britain's Lord Stanley of Preston in 1888.

Stanley was the sixth Governor General of Canada and also the person for whom hockey's Stanley Cup is named.

The Queen Charlotte Islands of B.C.'s north coast were officially renamed to their Haida First Nation's name of Haida Gwaii in December 2009.

A Vancouver Island First Nation has also lobbied the federal and B.C. governments to acknowledge the Strait of Georgia between the island and the mainland as the Salish Sea, as the U.S. government officially recognizes it.

Salish refers to Coast Salish, the original language of the seaside inhabitants of southwestern B.C. and Vancouver Island.