The Musqueam Park Walk is an out and back loop, totaling 5km or approximately 6561 steps. This route is on the traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam nation. You will walk through many culturally significant areas including an ancient village and burial site of the Musqueam people, dating back at least 4,000 years. The area has undergone great change, and also includes contemporary Musqueam art pieces reflecting the importance of this area. Take a walk along this beautiful route and feel the history beneath your feet.
“Unceded” means that First Nations people did not give up land or legally sign it away to Britain or Canada. Vancouver and 95 percent of BC are on unceded First Nations land. In many parts of Canada, treaties were signed with First Nations that gave incoming settlers rights to much of the land, but in BC very few treaties were signed.
|Elevation change||20 m|
The Musqueam Park walking route travels through the traditional, unceded territory of the Musqueam Nation. It was developed into a rural region within the area now known as Vancouver, and is quite unique and isolated from the rest of the city. This walk offers an opportunity to learn more about the Musqueam, including contemporary Musqueam art pieces, history of the land, and current significant cultural sites. It also offers an opportunity to reflect on how non-Indigenous development sits alongside a community of Musqueam peoples.
This walk is made up of dirt, gravel and concrete paths as well as roadways. These paths are used by equestrians, and can often quite muddy in areas. Come prepared with appropriate footwear, especially after or during rainy weather. On many days the Bridal Path is not suitable for wheelchairs.
Points of interest
This route is on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, and includes one of the three reserve lands that the Musqueam have in the area now known as Metro Vancouver. You will notice street signs which are in Musqueam language. This route also travels along the developed land now known as Southlands. The Musqueam, along with the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations have been in this area since time immemorial. There are many culturally significant areas along this walking route.
You can view an extensive Musqueam history map, including points of interest along this walk. Here you will find information on Musqueam place names, hear audio of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language from Musqueam elders, view historical photographs of some of the places and see where they are located.
A reserve is a piece of land set aside as per the Indian Act and treaty agreements for the exclusive use of a First Nations Band. Band members have the right to live on reserve lands, and the band administration office and community cultural centres are frequently located there. It is important to note that a reserve is very different from traditional territory. The reserve system undermined First Nations peoples’ relationship to their traditional territory but did not destroy it. Reserves disrupted and separated not only lands but also peoples and Nations that had existed for tens of thousands of years.
Deering Island Park
Located on a small island in the Fraser River, Deering Island Park is a semi-natural area perfect for enjoying the peaceful views of the river and tidal marshes. In late summer, the park is filled with dragonflies and the sweet scent (and flavour!) of blackberries. Over time, due to desired shipping access up the river, the flora and fauna have changed from what you might once have seen in this location.
Musqueam-Cutthroat Creek system which has its headwaters in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, flows through the area into the Fraser River delta. The two kilometre stream has enormous significance and supports spawning runs of wild Coho and Chum Salmon as well as Cutthroat Trout. The creek also provides the Musqueam people with plants that are harvested for traditional uses.
In 1997, a devastating contamination occurred when household pollutants were released from nearby homes. The Musqueam Ecological Conservation Society and the David Suzuki Foundation sprang into action to rescue the fish, and relocate them to nearby Cutthroat Creek. The restoration efforts have proven to enhance the population of insects which the fish feed on, and encourage spawning in the area.
In 2006, Crown Street became Vancouver’s first example of a sustainable streetscape. Lined by structural grass and planted swales, the narrow street meanders downhill following a natural drainage course. This innovative construction model allows storm water to be absorbed into the land, rather than creating an intense demand on the existing storm water system. Pollutants are filtered naturally, and nutrients reabsorbed. Further ecological benefits include stabilizing the base flow of the nearby creeks. The roadway also serves to slow and calm traffic, as well as improve aesthetics.