Plan to change park’s name pleases family

Celia Haig-Brown was delighted when she heard the North Shuswap park named after her father Roderick might be changed

Sockeye Salmon swim in the Adams River towards their spawning grounds in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park.

Sockeye Salmon swim in the Adams River towards their spawning grounds in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park.

Celia Haig-Brown was delighted when she heard the North Shuswap park named after her father Roderick might be changed to a Secwepemc name.

Celia wrote to the newspaper to say her family agrees with her initial reaction.

“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. 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,” she wrote.

“I feel strongly that my father, who had deep respect for Indigenous peoples, would also be delighted to hear about this change.”

The discussion came about when Kathryn Michel, a language worker at Chief Atahm school in Chase, responded to a column written by Shuswap Market News columnist Jim Cooperman, in which he mentioned the provincial Ministry of Environment was considering changing the name. Michel stated this was the first time she’d heard of the plan and the Secwepemc people should be invited to the table.

“The many Secwepemc place names, including those referring to landforms, waterways, village sites and resource-gathering areas, had unceremoniously been cast aside and rebranded to suit the current agendas of Euro-Canadian settlers, with many of these places named after individuals,” she wrote. “In contrast, Secwepemc place names highlight the essence of the land and/or the relationship between humans and the earth.”

Michel said, however, she was concerned the idea would turn into a conflict over Haig-Brown’s legacy on one side and recognizing Secwepemc history and culture on the other.

“We’re not trying to kick him off in a corner and forget what he’s about,” she said of the conservationist whose work was instrumental in recognizing a need to create the park four decades ago.

Michel surmised that Roderick Haig-Brown would celebrate the change since the Secwepemc worldview of interconnectedness complements his teachings about the importance of connecting to the natural world.

His daughter Celia responded: “We could not agree more.”

She added: “I also want to acknowledge the important work he did in his lifetime working for rivers and salmon when so many others were exploiting the gifts our lands offer us. I do hope that the plaque with his poem can stay in its place of honour beside the spawning grounds.”

– with files from Kamloops This Week

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A member of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter team pulls a skier who broke her leg at the gorge backcountry area east of Sicamous into the helicopter on Friday March 5. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Search and rescue helicopter helps injured skier out of Shuswap backcountry

The Salmon Arm woman broke her leg, but was helped out of the bush thanks to radio communication.

SASCU is looking to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a legacy project, in the same way the Shuswap credit union marked its 60th by commissioning the apple sculpture at its downtown location. That artwork includes 14 apples honouring SASCU’s founding families. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap credit union to mark 75th anniversary with legacy project

SASCU will be looking for input from arts community, city

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Fire ripped through a mobile home on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna on March. 6. (Phil McLachlan - West Kelowna News)
‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

RCMP confirmed that there were no injuries due to the fire

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read