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Colony Farm Regional Park Renamed to ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park
Paving the Way Forward to a New Relationship based on the Principles of DRIPA

Coquitlam, BC– July 1, 2023 -  Today, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation and Metro Vancouver announced that Colony Farm Regional Park has been renamed as ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park and Colony Farm Road has been renamed as ƛ̓éxətəm Road.

The changing of the name from one associated with colonialism to one that reflects and honours the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation’s history, culture, and ties to these lands is a positive step forward in our two governments building a new relationship based on the principles of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).

kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation and their members selected the name ƛ̓éxətəm (pronounced tla-hut-um) which means ‘to be invited’ in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓. The name reflects their welcome to visitors to ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park, which is located on their traditional and ancestral territory and adjacent to their ancestral village of slakəyánc  (Coquitlam I.R. #1).

The region’s residents live, work and learn on the territories of many Indigenous peoples, including kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation. The new name for the regional park reflects fundamental Coast Salish cultural protocol for guests to request permission to enter the territories of others. In accordance with this protocol, guests acknowledge their hosts and such invitations with respect and gratitude.

“Metro Vancouver is committed to continuing to develop and strengthen our relationship with kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation — the renaming of the park is a significant milestone in the path we’re walking together,” said George V. Harvie, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors. “We are honoured to support better representation of the Nation on its traditional territory, and to draw attention to their important cultural and historic contributions to our region.”

“The new name is made in honour of our Elders. It is their courage, their leadership, and their stories of how the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation took care of these lands before colonization that has brought us to today,” said kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Councillor George Chaffee.

“This is the first step to building a new relationship with Metro Vancouver based on the principles of DRIPA. Our vision for the future is to be Stewards and Guardians of ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park, as we once were, and to restore and protect it for future generations. Today marks the beginning of our journey in walking together in a good way."

ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park represents the last of the natural areas that holds the life of the Coquitlam Watershed. kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation has close connection to these lands and used to hunt, berry pick, fish and take care of these lands which are home to many fish, animal, bird, plant, and amphibian species.

kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation has played a role in several stewardship initiatives at ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park such as the Wilson Farm Juvenile Salmon Habitat Enhancement Project (expanded available habitat for juvenile salmon and improved passageway to their habitat), Sheeps Paddock Wetlands (restoring rearing habitat for salmon, particularly juvenile coho and other wetland species such as the Western Painted Turtle Recovery), and is currently working on the endangered Oregon Forestsnail project to protect their habitat at the park.



“kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation is also working to revitalize the use of our traditional hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language and culture in everyday life. One way for us to share our rich history and ties to these lands is to welcome home hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ names for places across our territory, such as at ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park which welcomes thousands of visitors each year,” said kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Councillor Stephanie Patterson.

Over the course of the next year, signage in the park will be changed to reflect the new name. Additionally, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation, with the support of Metro Vancouver, will be developing a cultural revitalization plan that will include signage and educational displays in the park to better inform the public about kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation territory, history, and culture.

The renaming ceremony was made on kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Day which takes place on July 1 to celebrate the Nation’s passing of their Land Code which came into effect on July 1, 2020. This legislation transfers all KFN reserve land management rights from Canada (who held them since 1876) to kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation who now have the authority to manage their land and resources on their two reserves: slakəyánc (I.R. #1) and setɬamékmən (I.R. #2). The day brings members of the Nation together to celebrate the reclaiming of their land and their goal for self-government.

An audio pronunciation for the new name, can be found on the Nation's Language Guide.