October 12, 2017 9:00 am
Updated: October 13, 2017 1:34 am

Vancouver Park Board votes to work with First Nations to rename Siwash Rock

One of Metro Vancouver’s most iconic landmarks will soon have a new name. As Jill Bennett reports, the Vancouver Park Board has asked three First Nations to rename Siwash Rock.

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The Vancouver Park Board has unanimously decided to give Stanley Park’s iconic Siwash Rock a new name.

The park board has been discussing the possible name change since July 2015.

Park board commissioner Catherine Evans has called the name “an ongoing symbol of disrespect.”

“It’s a good thing to do in the spirit of reconciliation,” she said.

“We have in place now a committee that is responsible for the after-planning and stewardship of family parks. And that committee has representatives of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations.”

The park board will work with representatives from three different First Nations to put a timeframe on changing the name.

Evans added that many people realize that “Siwash” is an insulting reference to Indigenous people.

“First nations locally, particularly the Squamish Nation had been interested in having the name changed for many years. I learned that it’s a derogatory term. It’s not something I think a lot of non-Indigenous people know or realize.”

The word Siwash is a Chinook word, which comes from the French word for sauvage, or savage in English, which is a derogatory term formerly used to describe First Nations people.

The rock is located in Stanley Park between Third Beach and the Lions Gate Bridge.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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