Siwash Rock name disrespectful to Aboriginal Peoples, says park board
The Siwash Rock in Vancouver’s Stanley Park could be renamed if First Nations agree its name is disrespectful to Aboriginal Peoples.
The Vancouver park board voted unanimously Wednesday night to work with Coast Salish Nations to determine if the rock should be renamed, saying it’s taking a first step toward righting “acts of dispossession and disrespect.”
The word siwash is a derogatory term for an Indigenous person and comes from Chinook jargon, which was the first method of communication between Europeans and Coast Salish peoples. Siwash is the Chinook interpretation of the French word sauvage or savage.
The motion adopted by the board called the name an “ongoing symbol of disrespect.”