Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

Question 8. In the past few years, the Park Board has taken steps towards reconciliation, decolonization, and co-management with MST First Nations. Would you continue this work? If yes, how?

Gwen GIESBRECHT – #201 – (COPE): “Yes. This work needs to be undertaken in a true spirit of Decolonization-Reconciliation. As I am not an Indigenous person my role would be to ensure that these undertakings were achieved through leadership by the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations and the Urban Indigenous population.”

Tom DIGBY – #203 – (Green): “Yes, I believe the parks system should be co-managed with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. I also recognize that there is a vocal minority of residents who reject this, and who might use co-management to blame the First Nations for poor park services. Reconciliation requires privileging indigenous perspectives without creating new avenues of criticism from hostile settler populations. I would continue this work by negotiation with First Nations.”

Carla FRENKEL – #204 – (Vision Vancouver): “Yes, I will actively work to build relationships in co-managing Stanley Park, fostering cooperation and learning as a settler. I will take lessons from experience to investigate co-management in other parks. The Park Board itself is a colonial structure; steps are being taken to reconcile this with the colonial audit and the Decolonization, Arts, and Culture department and action items in the Local Food System Action Plan. I actively support Indigenous-led stewardship of parks, like the Working Group for Indigenous Food Sovereignty and the Vancouver Urban Food Forest Foundation. More can be done to centre Indigenous voices and thinking in all the work the Park Board does, from programming to park and community centre renewal. I would advocate for this to be central to park planning, not as an afterthought or as an amenity.”

Andrea PINOCHET-ESCUDERO – #206 – (Vote Socialist): “Yes, I would support and continue this work. This work is at the heart of reconciliation and I would support land back policies.”

ROLLERGIRL – #211 – (Independent): No response provided.

John IRWIN – #212 – (Vision Vancouver): “Yes, by engaging at the intergovernmental level with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh (MST), which should meet at least biannually. I will continue to support the colonial audit and decolonization by providing sufficient funds to Decolonization, Arts, and Culture. I will continue to work with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, MST, and urban indigenous groups on a cultural healing lodge in Crab Park. Earlier this year we passed a motion to co-manage our parks with the MST, and one of the main reasons that I am running again is to continue this work.”

Caitlin STOCKWELL – #209Serena Jackson – #213Tiyaltelut Kristen Rivers – #226 (OneCity – Joint Submission): “Yes, we would. OneCity has a major section of Parks platform focused on Indigenous justice. We will:

  • Support proposals from the Host Nations for Indigenous-led or co-governance of parks, including with capacity funding for their leadership.
  • Implement calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, UNDRIP Task Force, and next steps of the Parks Board’s colonial audit.
  • Work with the Host Nations, Vancouver’s UNDRIP Task Force and its Urban Indigenous People Advisory Committee around park planning and priorities.
  • Listen to how Host Nations want to see their history, ongoing connection, and title reflected in parks through signage, design, names, and management models.
  • Partner with the Host Nations to offer on-the-land learning opportunities that align with school curriculum.
  • Promote the sharing and visibility of Coast Salish stories in parks through cultural programs and public art.
  • Explore opportunities for Indigenous Guardians to steward and manage parks across Vancouver.
  • Create a culturally safe workplace for Indigenous employees by providing mandatory cultural safety training and culturally relevant human resources.”

Tricia RILEY – #215 – (Green)“Embracing and advancing reconciliation will lead to a brighter, more equitable future for everyone in our city. As a Commissioner, I will prioritize collaboration with the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations to explore opportunities for co-management of parklands. I’ll also work with urban Indigenous organizations and community members to ensure they are included in planning and initiatives of the Park Board.”


Liam Murphy MENARD – #218 – (Independent): “As Park Board Commissioner, I would absolutely continue the work towards reconciliation, decolonization, and co-management with the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. As Vancouver is a City of Reconciliation, I would have a duty as an elected member of the city’s government to advance policy that is focused on decolonizing our parks and green space. To that end, I will collaborate with members of all three nations to ensure that ancestral knowledge, Indigenous cultural continuity and connection to the land, and respect for the natural world is integrated into every decision that we make as a Park Board.”

Olga ZARUDINA – #220 – (NPA): “Yes! NPA majority will integrate indigenous names in to existing and future parks and facilities. An innovative idea that we came up with is placing a QR code on park names and linking it to a description of indigenous history that took place at a specific location. This will involve working with historians as well as with the indigenous communities.”

Kumi KIMURA – #221 – (TEAM): “Yes of course, I am full support TRC as I work at Musqueam Golf course and will always take the lead from our Chief & Council and since I have a direct line I always leave these to our First Nations Leaders, it is not up to us to dictate the process, we learn from them and in the 15+ years I have worked with Musqueam, I also have met so many other Chiefs and continue to champion First Nations rights.”

Michelle MOLLINEAUX – #223 – (TEAM): “TEAM’s Reconciliation Action Plan is built around resolving inequities that inhibit employment opportunities, economic growth, positive educational outcomes, and wellness.

TEAM will work with Vancouver’s First Nations, Indigenous residents, and senior levels of government to advance truth and reconciliation efforts that affect Vancouver, with a view to resolving historic inequities. The true measure of leadership on Reconciliation will be our willingness to publicly expose and accept our past so we know where to stand when planning our future. TEAM will utilize both short-term and long-term actions to advance reconciliation with First Nations, including:

  • Working to resolve inequities through the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action that are applicable at the city level
  • Enhancing collaboration with local First Nations and Urban Indigenous communities
  • Striving to create economic opportunities for local First Nations
  • Better coordination with the First Nations Health Authority to support their mental health and addictions programming
  • Creating new funding and partnership opportunities for child-care programs for Indigenous people
  • Striving to increase the visibility of First Nations cultures/histories in public spaces such as community centres, libraries, and park facilities, including the delivery of an urban longhouse and/or cultural centre.”

James BUCKSHON – #225 – (TEAM): “Park Board has taken steps towards reconciliation, decolonization, and co-management with MST First Nations and the board should continue discussions with the Chiefs to get their important input into park operations.”

Tracy D. SMITH – #230 – (Independent): “Absolutely. Through consultation and collaboration with the Musqueam Nation.”

Craig STEVEN – #231 – (Independent): “No, everyone will be treated the same, no group of people will be given preferential treatment. Any name changes to parks will be done in a democratic way.”