British Columbia

Vancouver Park Board passes motion to recognize Indigenous place names

The Vancouver Park Board has passed a motion to recognize traditional Indigenous place names for the city's parks and beaches.

'Names form an integral part of culture and heritage,' says board chair

The motion to recognize traditional names could mean areas like Queen Elizabeth Park soon feature an Indigenous name alongside the current one. (Daria Wojnarski/Vancouver Park Board)

The Vancouver Park Board has passed a motion to recognize traditional Indigenous place names for the city's parks and beaches.

Voted on by commissioners Monday evening, the motion notes the lands under the jurisdiction of the park board are unceded by the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.

And with the board having previously approved of several reconciliation strategies, including Aboriginal language rights, it decided to recognize the traditional names of places in Vancouver as they are known to Indigenous peoples.

"Names form an integral part of culture and heritage," said park board commissioner and chair Stuart Mackinnon, who put forward the motion.

"Part of the colonization of Vancouver was the changing of traditional names. My motion is part of reconciliation in Vancouver, to recognize that these Indigenous people have been here forever and that they had place names long before we were here."

The park board says it will work with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations to identify the traditional names of places within the board's jurisdiction.

It says those names will be recognized by the park board and acknowledged in ways deemed appropriate by the relevant First Nations.

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