People paddling canoes during the Gathering of Canoes

Why Reconciliation?

Vancouver is located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

For the Vancouver Park Board, Reconciliation is more than a ceremonial acknowledgement of these territories.

It is an opportunity to learn the true history of Vancouver and acknowledge the unjust treatment of the people whose lands we occupy.

The challenges

Important places rich in archeological, cultural, and ecological significance for the three Nations have been built over and their importance diminished or lost.

Urban Indigenous peoples living in Vancouver find very little in the urban environment that reflects their cultural histories.

Our role

Vancouver's parks are venues to foster new connections between the land and its peoples.

The Vancouver Park Board cares for the last of Vancouver’s relatively undeveloped land.

This puts us in a unique position to partner with the Nations in preserving spiritually and archeologically significant places, and stewarding our park ecosystems for generations to come.

Our approach

How we are working towards Reconciliation with Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Urban Indigenous people.

Reconciliation actions

By City of Vancouver

 

  • New Reconciliation staff

    By City of Vancouver

    The Park Board has hired dedicated staff to support our ambitious Reconciliation agenda. The new Reconciliation planner consults widely with Indigenous leaders to ensure Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices are reflected in our policies and programs. We have also hired Canada’s first municipal archaeologist and a dedicated Stanley Park planner.

  • Park Board archaeologist

    By City of Vancouver

    Hired in 2016 on the recommendation of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, Geordie Howe brings 40 years of archaeological experience to the Park Board. He is a key resource in the Board’s ongoing work with the three Nations on a comprehensive plan for Stanley Park. Geordie also supports a variety of projects with potential archaeological significance.

  • Stanley Park Intergovernmental Working Group

    By City of Vancouver

    This group is a unique forum for Park Board and staff from the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations to work on a long-term comprehensive plan for Stanley Park with a 100-year vision. The group is also designing a public consultation strategy for the project in 2018.

  • Renaming Siwash Rock

    By City of Vancouver

    The word “Siwash” is understood to be offensive so the Park Board has begun a process to rename it, led by the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

  • Park naming

    By City of Vancouver

    The Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations are consulted on the Park Board’s new process for naming its unnamed and new parks. The Nations will lead the naming process for park sites that are significant to them, consulting with their communities on names that are culturally appropriate. Select the image to view a full-size PDF of the map (246 KB).

  • Cultural education at New Brighton Park Salt Marsh

    By City of Vancouver

    The New Brighton Park Salt Marsh is the first Park Board site to feature culturally appropriate ecological signage created and translated by First Nations into traditional languages. A kiosk featuring cultural educational content will be built in 2018 by the Park Board and the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.  

  • Reflecting Indigenous principles in the new Northeast False Creek park

    By City of Vancouver

    Staff are working closely with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and Urban Indigenous communities to ensure principles of cultural practice, ecological stewardship, and visibility of the three Nations on their own lands is reflected in the design of this major new park.

  • Reconciliation training for staff

    By City of Vancouver

    The Park Board is working with the three Nations to develop training for all staff to better understand the histories of the land on which we work, as well as better respond to the interests and concerns of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. This training will be complementary to existing cultural awareness workshops.

  • Art and Reconciliation

    By City of Vancouver

    The Park Board is establishing a program for artists to collaborate on works inspired by reconciliation themes. The A-Frame at Second Beach will be the site of an artist residency in 2018.

  • Wild Salmon Caravan

    By City of Vancouver

    Integrating Indigenous issues, ecology, food security, and art, this project is a prime example of learning from Indigenous people how to better adapt our processes to support them.