Brooks Peninsula Park (a.k.a. Mquqwin Park) will be renamed to Mquqwin/Brooks Peninsula Park to better reflect its history if proposed legislation passes. Photo via env.gov.bc.ca

What’s in a name?

A simple question, but one that will soon be on legislator’s minds nonetheless.

Three provincial parks in B.C. will be renamed to better reflect their historic and cultural significance as part of reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples if proposed legislative amendments are passed.

The bill amends the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act and the Parks and Protected Areas Statutes Amendment Act, 2003.

“These amendments allow our government to take an important step forward towards our ongoing reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples throughout British Columbia, which includes honouring the commitments we made under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

“The renaming of these parks to traditional Indigenous names, as rooted in history, reflect the significant heritage values recognized by all British Columbians and beyond.”

Brooks Peninsula Park only park on Vancouver Island to be renamed

Three parks are proposed to be renamed with Indigenous titles:

  1. Brooks Peninsula Park (a.k.a. Mquqwin Park) on Vancouver Island will be renamed to Mquqwin/Brooks Peninsula Park, which was originally intended when the park name was changed in 2009 (First Nations name appearing before the original park name). The word Mquqwin means “The Queen” in the Nuu-Chah-Nulth language;
  2. Boya Lake Park near the northwestern B.C. border will be renamed Tā Ch’ilā Park (a.k.a. Boya Lake Park), meaning “holes in a blanket,” at the request of the Kaska Dena First Nation; and
  3. Roderick Haig-Brown Park in the Shuswap will be renamed to the traditional Secwepemc name Tsútswecw Park, which translates to “many fish,” at the request of the Little Shuswap Indian Band.

Should it pass, the bill will also add more than 1,600 hectares of land to 10 parks and one conservancy, including three parks on Vancouver Island—Cowichan River, Juan de Fuca and Cape Scott.

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