Three provincial parks will be renamed to reflect their historic and cultural significance as part of reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples, if proposed legislative amendments introduced are passed.
The bill amends the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act and the Parks and Protected Areas Statutes Amendment Act, 2003.The bill proposes to add more than 1,600 hectares of land to 10 parks and one conservancy, as well as improve boundary descriptions and make administrative changes.
“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.”
To reflect ancestral connections and support reconciliation efforts, three parks are proposed to be renamed with Indigenous titles:
- 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;
- 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
- Roderick Haig-Brown Park in the Shuswap will be renamed to the traditional Secwepemc name Tsútswecw Park, which translates to “many rivers,” at the request of the Little Shuswap Indian Band.
The amendments also include several additions to existing parks and a conservancy, the largest being on Haida Gwaii, where more than 1,200 hectares are proposed to be added to Duu Guusd Conservancy. The K’aas Gandlaay area contributes to an almost contiguous band of protected areas along the west coast of Haida Gwaii, and protects archeological sites, old growth cedar stands and important Haida cultural and spiritual values.
In the Tumbler Ridge area, 268 hectares are recommended to be added to Monkman Park to protect Slate Falls, a significant waterfall and geographical feature.
Proposed additions to three parks — Cowichan River, Juan de Fuca and Cape Scott parks — on Vancouver Island are the result of private land acquisitions.
Proposed additions also include six hectares of foreshore to Otter Lake Park near Princeton; 3.43 hectares to Syringa Park near Castlegar; 17 hectares to Monashee Park north of Vernon and southwest of Revelstoke; 85 hectares to Tā Ch’ilā Park (a.k.a. Boya Lake Park) in the northwestern part of the province; 3.26 hectares to E. C. Manning Park near Princeton; and 4.265 hectares to Kleanza Creek Park near Terrace.
The amendments also make several improvements to boundary descriptions and make administrative corrections.
For the correct presentation of the Indigenous spelling for Mquqwin Park (pronounced “Mook-Queen”), please see the BC Parks website: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/brooks_peninsula/
A backgrounder follows.
Media RelationsMinistry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Brooks Peninsula Park (a.k.a. Mquqwin) near Port Alice, will be renamed to place the Maa-nulth name first: Mquqwin/Brooks Peninsula Park. The dual name celebrates the Indigenous connection with the history and culture of the park.
Boya Lake Park will be renamed to Tā Ch’ilā Park at the request of the Kaska Dena First Nation. Established in 1965, the park lies within the traditional territory of the Kaska Dene First Nation, who currently live in and around the settlement of Good Hope Lake.
Roderick Haig-Brown Park will be renamed to a traditional Secwepemc name for the area, Tsútswecw Park, at the request of the Little Shuswap Indian Band. Known for its bi-annual run of sockeye salmon in the Adams River, archeological studies of the area have uncovered evidence of large settlements.
Monkman Park addition (268 hectares) and boundary adjustment: This proposed addition will include Slate Falls, a significant geographical feature. This park in the Tumbler Ridge area covers a diverse range of natural landscapes, including alpine meadows, mountain peaks, forested valleys, waterfalls and lakes. A forest service road was incorrectly included in the park when lands were added in 2000. The error is being corrected now, which results in four hectares being removed from the park.
Cowichan River Park addition (3.7 hectares): The proposed addition is the result of the purchase of two properties from the Nature Conservancy of Canada. These two properties protect streamside habitat with fisheries values, and a maple forest grove with rare wildflowers. This park protects significant stretches of the Cowichan River, known for its wild salmon and steelhead fishery, and is designated as both a B.C. heritage river and a Canadian heritage river.
Juan de Fuca Park addition (5 hectares): Approximately five hectares are proposed to be added to the park, as a result of land purchases by the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, as part of treaty negotiations with the Pacheedaht First Nations. These lands have been the subject of historic trespass issues along the Juan de Fuca trail. Situated along the Pacific coastline of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this park offers spectacular hiking, marine and wildlife viewing.
Cape Scott Park addition (4.848 hectares): The proposed additions to this park are the result of two properties, totalling 4.448 hectares, being acquired by the Province from the Anglican Diocese of Canada. In addition, another 0.4 hectares of land, formerly owned by the Cape Scott Social Club, is proposed to be added to the park. This park is a magnificent area of rugged, coastal wilderness that is located at the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, and features more than 115 kilometres of scenic ocean frontage.
E. C. Manning Park addition (3.26 hectares) and boundary adjustment: Lands are being added at the Mule Deer campground, where recreation facility development has encroached on the Highway 3 right-of-way. Administrative changes are also being made to reflect a Highway 3 realignment project near the West Gate Entrance that addressed safety concerns. In total, these boundary adjustments will result in 3.26 hectares being added to the park, and 4.7 hectares being removed from the park.
Kleanza Creek Park addition (4.265 hectares) and boundary adjustment: Proposed additions to the park include 4.265 hectares of closed highway right-of-way segments. A segment of the Gold Creek access road is proposed to be removed from the park, to provide access to a proposed subdivision. This boundary modification will result in 0.17 hectares being removed from the park. A second small piece of land (0.01 hectare) also is proposed to be removed from the park to accommodate the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s maintenance needs, as a result of some of the closed right-of-way segments being added to the park.
Tā Ch’ilā Park (a.k.a. Boya Lake Park) addition (85 hectares) and boundary adjustment: The eastern boundary of the park will be extended to the middle of the Dease River, to abut with the boundary of the Ne’āh’ Conservancy, which results in 85 hectares being added to the park. The western boundary will align with the recently surveyed right-of-way for Highway 37 north, which results in 15 hectares being removed from the park.
Otter Lake Park addition (6 hectares): The proposed addition of foreshore to this park will help protect sensitive shoreline areas, boost protection for swimmers in high boat traffic areas and preserve conservation values of the lake. Otter Lake is an important and popular recreational fishery, containing rainbow trout.
Monashee Park addition (17 hectares): The proposed addition to this park includes the main parking area and trail head, including the Spectrum Creek Trail, an important access route. Adding this area to the park will help ensure long-term protection of a key trail access and old growth forest area. The park is also home to a herd of mountain caribou, a red-listed species in the province. Indigenous use of the area as a trade route, and seasonal hunting and gathering site dates back thousands of years.
Syringa Park addition (3.43 hectares): The proposed addition is a segment of the Broadwater Road right-of-way that is used to access the park, which will improve efficiency. The right-of-way presently includes facilities owned and operated by BC Parks, including the gatehouse, day-use parking lots and some campsites. This park protects interior Douglas-fir forests, while also preserving one of the few remaining examples of grassland ecosystems in the Kootenay region.
Duu Guusd Conservancy addition (1,220 hectares): The majority of the land proposed to be added is the result of the Haida Gwaii Management Council’s unanimous recommendation that the K’aas Gandlaay area be added to the conservancy. The K’aas Gandlaay area protects archaeological sites, old-growth cedar stands, and important Haida cultural and spiritual values. Two small areas (six hectares), which were covered by forest licences that are no longer active, will also be added to the conservancy.
Fintry Park boundary adjustment: A small piece of land is proposed to be removed from the park for road safety improvement work being undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Tā Ch’ilā Park (a.k.a. Boya Lake Park), Okeover Arm Park and Chilliwack Lake Park will have written metes and boundary descriptions replaced with official plans.
Sasquatch Park and Okeover Arm Park will have new official plans, which will correct errors in the boundary descriptions.
Downing Park will have a spelling error in the name of a road corrected in the boundary description.
Proposed amendments to the Parks and Protected Areas Statutes Amendment Act, 2003:
Graham-Laurier Park: Approximately 1,036 hectares were proposed to be removed from the park to allow for the construction of an access road to facilitate oil and gas exploration. The need for this road never materialized, and the amendment was never brought into force. The amendment is being repealed and the 1,036 hectares will continue to remain in the park.