Prince George councillor wants to acknowledge First Nations history by renaming civic park
The Lheidli T'enneh village was burned down in 1913
The City of Prince George could be renaming its main civic park to recognize a troubled past with a local First Nations community.
City Councillor Murry Krause is recommending Fort George Park be renamed Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park.
In a memo to council, Krause wrote:
"The renaming of Fort George Park to Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park commemorates, in a respectful way, a troubling time in our city's history when Lheidli T'enneh people were forcibly removed from their land.
"The inclusion of the word memorial in the proposed name change acknowledges the presence of the Lheidli T'enneh Burial Grounds in the park. The cemetery is all that remains of the village that was destroyed in 1913."
The Lheidli T'enneh village at the confluence of the Nechako and Fraser rivers was burned in 1913 in order to make way for the city and railway.
Band members were moved to a reserve best-known as Shelley. According to Lheidli band member and former councillor Rena Zatorski, that move is still considered a forced relocation.
The proposed renaming has the support of Lheidli Chief Dominic Frederick.
Opposition to name change
However, not all residents are enthusiastic about the name change and have voices their concerns on social media.
"Keep the name Fort George Park, perhaps another larger marker on the old cemetery grounds," Joan Wes Clarke wrote on CBC Daybreak North's Facebook page.
"I grew up in Prince George and it has been Fort George Park forever. I am not sure why the reason for the change of name. I do like the name, but leave out 'memorial'," wrote Tammy Wood.
Prince George city council will vote on the proposal on Monday.
If approved, the renaming would happen on June 21 — National Aboriginal Day.