Flags representing the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations were raised May 16, 2023 at spapəy̓əq Pápiy̓eḵ, commonly known as Brockton Point in Stanley Park. This marks the first time local Nations’ flags have been permanently raised in a Vancouver city park.
Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Flags Raised in Stanley Park
The Stanley Park Intergovernmental Working Group, which comprises staff from the Nations and the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, made the decision to raise these flags. The xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations’ flags will reside at Brockton Point permanently.
“I am a direct descendant of the last Indigenous residents of Stanley Park. The violent and destructive removal of my family from their home at spapəy̓əqm is part of our history. The city’s Park Board was instrumental in deeming us ‘squatters’ and burning our ancestral villages to the ground. Today’s raising of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh flags at Brockton Point is a significant milestone in establishing a new relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Park Board and ensuring the truth is remembered. Musqueam looks forward to continuing this collaborative work with Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and the Park Board to recognize our ancestral connections to this land and shared commitment to reconciliation.”– Chief Wayne Sparrow of Musqueam Indian Band
“The City of Vancouver recently adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a road map for a meaningful relationship between the City and the three Host Nations, and the raising of səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation’s flag, alongside the flags of our relatives Squamish and Musqueam, at spapəy̓əq Pápiy̓eḵ is a step towards reconciliation. Displaying our flag at Stanley Park, a place enjoyed by the local community and visitors throughout the year, is one way that Tsleil-Waututh Nation is putting the face of our Nation back on our traditional territory.”– Chief Jen Thomas of Tsleil-Waututh Nation
“The raising of our flags today is another way to demonstrate to outside world that our people are deeply connected to these lands and waters. Raising these flags encourages the broader community to learn more about our history, culture and traditions. We have always been here, and we will always be here. These flags clearly represent that this is the shared territories of our three Nations.”– Wilson Williams (Sxwíxwtn) of Squamish Nation
In 2017, Park Board staff removed three flag poles displaying Canadian, British Columbia, and Union Jack flags at Brockton Point. Following the removal, The Stanley Park Intergovernmental Working Group advised replacing the flag poles with those of the local Nations in a small step in acknowledging the Nations’ connection to the area.
Read the Park Board’s approach to reconciliation here.