WSÁNEC First Nations mark anniversary of PKOLS name reclamation

Thursday night event marks one year since First Nations took back Mount Douglas name in Saanich

The WSÁNEC First Nations last night congregated at PKOLS, more commonly known as Mount Douglas, to mark the one-year anniversary of a symbolic name reclamation.

In May 2013, local First Nations took to the Saanich mountain and erected a large cedar sign bearing the PKOLS name and history at the summit. On Thursday evening (May 22), after the News’ press deadline, a community picnic was held in the same spot as a reminder of the significance of last year’s event.

“We want to make sure that people remember that the name PKOLS was put back on the mountain,” said Eric Pelkey, hereditary chief for the Tsawout Nation. “We want to keep it in the forefront of people’s minds. We don’t want it to be forgotten.”

Members of the WSÁNEC First Nations are continuing to work with Coast Salish First Nations and other community partners to mark other pre-colonial place names in the region.

“The longer vision is not to erase the colonial history. We are not seeking to rename the whole park, just Mount Doug, we want to rename the peak to give it it’s proper name, as distinct from the park,” University of Victoria indigenous governance professor Taiaiake Alfred told the News last year.”This isn’t about looking for some kind of retaliation. It is looking to restore the balance and show respect for the original name.”

– with files from Edward Hill

editor@saanichnews.com

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