Vancouver Park Board considers motion to identify, recognize First Nation names

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A motion before the Vancouver Park Board could mark the next step toward reconciliation with three Vancouver-area First Nations.

Commissioners are scheduled to vote Monday on a proposal that would recognize and acknowledge traditional places and names within Vancouver park boundaries.

Siwash Rock. Photo Dan Toulgoet

The commissioner behind the motion, Stuart Mackinnon, says it asks the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh to identify traditional names of places, such as those along Burrard Inlet or within Stanley Park.

He says the board would then recognize the names and locations and work towards reflecting them in the city’s public spaces.

Mackinnon says the motion is not about renaming locations such as Vancouver’s Stanley Park, instead it celebrates the rich language and culture of the region’s original inhabitants and offers the chance to share place names from their oral and written history.

A motion for a colonial audit, examining how colonialism was entrenched in park board operations, passed unanimously earlier this year and Mackinnon says he’s hoping the latest proposal will see the same outcome.