Flags of Vancouver's First Nations to be permanently raised at Stanley Park

Apr 26 2022, 11:03 pm

The three flags that represent the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh — the three First Nations within the City of Vancouver’s jurisdiction — will be permanently raised at Brockton Point in Stanley Park.

Vancouver Park Board commissioners unanimously approved the installation during Monday evening’s public meeting.

The flags will be raised on three new replacement flagpoles installed in late 2019 that previously flew Canada, British Columbia, and Union Jack flags. The original flags were previously removed to replace the original aging flagpoles built in the 1960s.

As a symbol of reconciliation, this First Nations permanent flag installation has been more than two years in the making, with the Stanley Park Intergovernmental Committee and Working Group (SPIGWG) — entailing leaders of the three First Nations and both the elected and staff members of the Park Board — making a recommendation to replace the new flags with that of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh in early 2020.

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Previous location of the flag poles for the Canada, BC, and Union Jack flags at Brockton Point in Stanley Park. (Vancouver Park Board)

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Brockton Point in Stanley Park. (Shutterstock)

The First Nations subsequently gifted their flags to the Park Board in late January 2020, but the actual flag raising planned for later that year was postponed due to the pandemic.

Although the three national, provincial, and Union Jack flags will not fly at the easternmost tip of Brockton Point again, the Park Board notes there are 12 other flagpoles in Stanley Park that acknowledge Canada, BC, the Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Navy, the City of Vancouver, and the Union Flag. Additional flags also fly on Deadman’s Island, where the HMCS Discovery navy reserve facility is located.

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The previous Union Jack, Canada, and British Columbia flags on the old flagpoles at Brockton Point in Stanley Park in early 2019. (Google Maps)

Map of flag locations in Stanley Park. (Vancouver Park Board)

A public event commemorating the official raising of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh is now anticipated later in 2022.

In recent years, the Park Board has prioritized reconciliation in its policies and strategies and has worked closely with the First Nations through the SPIGWG on the future master plan of Stanley Park.

In 2022, Park Board commissioners approved a motion calling for Park Board staff to expand co-management with First Nations beyond Stanley Park. Park Board staff were directed to explore a “co-management” of Vancouver’s parklands on a city-wide basis with the city’s three local First Nations.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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