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Barge Chilling Sign not to be replaced after traditional name painted on again

The parks board says it's developing new policy.
The traditional Squamish name for the beach, Í7iy̓el̓shn, has been written over the temporary 'Barge Chilling Beach' sign.

For the second time this month someone has painted the traditional Squamish name for the beach where a huge wood chip barge rests on the temporary 'Barge Chilling Beach' sign.

In black paint Í7iy̓el̓shn has been written over the sign the Vancouver parks board erected as a 'holiday gift' to the city after the barge ran aground in November. In an email to Vancouver Is Awesome, the parks board says they don't intend on replacing the sign anytime soon.

"It’s clear the community cares about this topic deeply, and so do we. So we’re going to engage our indigenous partners in dialogue and not replace the altered ‘Barge Chilling Beach’ sign right away," writes spokesperson Jeannine Guerette. "The sign itself was always intended to be temporary, and we see this as the moment to have this important conversation."

She adds that "re-introducing local Indigenous names" is a priority for the board and policy is being created to that end.

"Selecting permanent names, especially Indigenous ones, takes thoughtful care and collaboration with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, including translations," she writes. "We’re going to take the time to continue this conversation."

A second sign nearby directing cycling traffic in regards to the seawall also had Í7iy̓el̓shn written on it; the city's engineering department will be dealing with that.

The barge has been sitting at the beach since Nov. 15 when a windstorm blew it in. Several organizations are involved including the owner's insurance company, the federal Ministry of Transportation and the City of Vancouver. Currently, the city has 24-hour security watching the barge.

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