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Indigenous name restored to Metro Vancouver’s Belcarra Regional Park

Paddlers from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation are greeted as they arrive by traditional canoe to take part in a park renaming ceremony at Belcarra Regional Park in Belcarra, B.C., Friday, Oct. 9, 2021. Belcarra Regional Park, near Port Moody, B.C., will have an Indigenous name of temtemíxwten, which local First Nations say translates to "biggest place for all the people." THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward. JOH

A Metro Vancouver park has been renamed to include the site’s Indigenous name, which officials say will better reflect the area’s history.

Belcarra Regional Park on the Burrard Inlet in Metro Vancouver will also have the Indigenous name of temtemíxwten, which local First Nations say translates to “biggest place for all the people.”

Read more: Two Indigenous place names restored in B.C.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District says the park and area was the site of the nation’s largest ancestral village.

Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Jen Thomas says the name change is important in acknowledging the group’s history in the area.

Click to play video: 'Squamish First Nation member produces ‘how-to’ videos on pronouncing Indigenous names' Squamish First Nation member produces ‘how-to’ videos on pronouncing Indigenous names
Squamish First Nation member produces ‘how-to’ videos on pronouncing Indigenous names – Apr 30, 2021

In February 2020, the nation and regional district signed an agreement that formalized an ongoing collaboration between the two groups, and the name change is one of the projects.

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Sav Dhaliwal, the chair of the Metro Vancouver board of directors, says in a statement that the district is pleased to bring more awareness about the nation’s history in the area.

Read more: Squamish First Nation member creates ‘how-to’ videos on pronouncing Indigenous names

The park’s signage will be changed over the next few months to reflect the new name.

“Through our traditional name, language, and artwork being present in the park, Tsleil-Waututh is putting the face of our nation back on the territory, demonstrating to our next generation the importance of being stewards of our lands and waters,” chief administrative officer Ernie George says in the written statement.

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