Roderick Haig-Brown Park will be known as Tsútswecw Park

The provincial government is renaming three parks in B.C., including Roderick Haig-Brown Park in the Shuswap area.

Responding to a request from the Little Shuswap Indian Band, the park that is known for the annual sockeye salmon run in Adams River will now be called by the Secwepemc name Tsútswecw Park, which translates to “many fish.”

Also being renamed are Brooks Peninsula Park on Vancouver island, which will become Mquqwin/Brooks Peninsula Park, and Boya Lake Park near the northwestern B.C. border, which will now be called Ta Ch’ila Park.

Mquqwin means “the queen” in the Nuu-Chah-Nulth language and Ta Ch’ila means holes in blanket. The name change was requested by the Kaska Dene Fist Nation.

Roderick Haig Brown was a logger, fisherman and guide to other anglers for years in B.C., drawing inspiration from those jobs and his love of the province to write several books and essays, including A River Never Sleeps.

He was magistrate for Campbell River from 1941 to 1974, a trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, advisor to the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Flyfishers and a member of the Federal Fisheries Development Council and the International Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Haig-Brown was also chancellor of the University of Victoria from 1970 to 1973 and was a member of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the province three times.

In January 2017, Celia Haig-Brown, daughter of Roderick, told the Salmon Arm Observer she was delighted when she heard the North Shuswap park named after her father might be changed to a Secwepemc name.

“I have since contacted my three siblings to ask for their input and we all agree this would be an elegant move — to give the park a name based in Secwpemctsin,” she wrote.

“Definitely having Secwepemc representation at the table regarding the name is essential to choosing appropriately. I know that there are existing traditional names for many spots in the area and feel it would be great if the name chosen reflected this long-standing relationship of people, salmon, land and rivers. I feel strongly that my father, who had deep respect for Indigenous peoples, would also be delighted to hear about this change.”

The province is also adding more than 1,600 hectares of land to 10 provincial parks, including Cowichan River, Juan de Fuca, Monkman, Cape Scott, the Duu Guusd Conservancy, Otter Lake, Syringa, Monashee, E.C. Manning and Kleanza Creek.

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