Flags of Vancouver's three First Nations now permanently raised at Stanley Park

May 16 2023, 10:50 pm

A process that first began more than three years ago and was delayed by the pandemic has now resulted in the permanent raising of the three flags that represent each of the three First Nations of Vancouver.

The Vancouver Park Board says the flags of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations were officially raised for the first time today at Brockton Point in Stanley Park. It is the first time the local First Nations’ flags have been permanently raised in a park in the city.

“This small but meaningful gesture marks an important moment for the Park Board and acknowledges the value that as an organization we place on our approach to reconciliation,” said Rena Soutar, who is the Manager of Decolonization, Arts, and Culture at the Vancouver Park Board.

“This is a step towards balancing the cultures and histories of Stanley Park, a place of great significance to the three Nations and a site of colonial harms, and a signal to residents and visitors that this land is on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories.”

stanley park brockton point flag poles new

New replacement flag poles at Brockton Point in Stanley Park, before the raising of the First Nations flags. (Google Maps)

first nations

Location of the flag poles at Stanley Park’s Brockton Point that previously featured the Canada, BC, and Union Jack flags. (Vancouver Park Board)

This project initially began as a flag pole replacement project at Brockton Point, replacing aging poles that were first installed at the location in the 1960s. The previous three flag poles displaying Canada, British Columbia, and Union Jack flags were removed in 2017, and new replacement flag poles were installed in late 2019.

But instead of re-raising the previous three flags, the Stanley Park Intergovernmental Group — comprised of the staff of the three First Nations and the Park Board — decided to raise the flags representing the First Nations. The First Nations gifted their flags to the Park Board in January 2020 for this purpose.

The previous makeup of the Park Board approved the permanent raising of the First Nations flags in Spring 2022.

“The raising of our flags today is another way to demonstrate to the outside world that our people are deeply connected to these lands and waters,” said Wilson Williams, an elected councillor of the Squamish Nation.

“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.”

The Park Board states there are currently 15 flags located in Stanley Park — including the three at Brockton Point — that acknowledge Canada, BC, the Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Navy, the City of Vancouver, and the Union Jack. Additional flags also fly on Deadman’s Island, where the HMCS Discovery navy reserve facility is located.

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

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

+ News
+ Politics
+ Public Art
+ City Hall
+ Urbanized