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Reconciliation and the Renaming of Settlers Places In Coquitlam
April 8, 2022 We’ve Got Issues Panel – Kwikwetlem Chief Ed Hall, Amy Lubik (Port Moody City Councillor), Craig Hodge (Coquitlam City Councillor)
We’ve Got Issues host Brad Nickason leads a discussion on renaming places named for settlers.
Chief Ed Hall supports renaming Dewdney Trunk Road as a step towards reconciliation and acknowledges that renaming is a multi-jurisdictional process that takes time. He thanks Charles Best Secondary School students for championing the idea.
Amy Lubik shares that reconciliation is an important topic in Port Moody. She states that Edgar Dewdney was involved in residential schools and starving indigenous peoples to achieve compliance. Craig Hodge says both governments and communities are becoming more aware of the past instead of simply looking at history as the day colonization began.
Chief Hall says changing names, logos, and removing statues are incremental steps in acknowledging history and reducing triggers to those who have suffered abuse. Amy acknowledges that there aren’t a lot of processes in place to work with First Nations to address reconciliation.
Coquitlam has street naming and heritage policies but needs to look at processes and the role of municipal government with respect to UNDRIP and DRIPA. Craig feels First Nations need to take the lead, while Chief Hall feels there is opportunity for partnership between Kwikwetlem and Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam.
Craig feels there may be pushback but feels hopeful that students will lead the change.
Coquitlam has recently hired a Manager of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Amy says our society is based on systemic racism which tends to support older, white, able-bodied gentlemen and we need to dismantle barriers to allow equitable access to systems. Chief Hall thinks of reconciliation in terms of “Recognition, respect, reset, and repeat”. Kwikwetlem is helping to reshape səmiq̓ʷəʔelə as a place of mental health and wellness as well as bringing back some of what it used to be hundreds of years ago. səmiq̓ʷəʔelə is an opportunity for true reconciliation by moving forward with something everyone can agree on such as mental health and protecting the land and trees.
First Nations consider themselves stewards of the lands in recognition of ancestors, only borrowing the lands from future generations. Embracing traditional cultural and environmental knowledge may be a step towards a new path forward.
The Tri-Cities Community Television Society is a Not-For-Profit organization in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody, BC, offering training in media production skills and provides an opportunity for community voices to be heard.