On May 4th, the name SMONEĆTEN was restored to what was formerly known as McDonald Campground in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
Watch the renaming ceremony replay below:
Four hand-carved cedar panels and an interpretive display have been installed at the campground as part of the reinstatement of W̱SÁNEĆ language, history and culture on the land. The displays share how the site was once a place to gather liquid pitch, also known as sap, from Douglas fir trees to start fires, patch canoes, heal wounds, and light lanterns.
“In the heart of W̱SÁNEĆ Territory, right next to the old village of W̱SI,I,KEM, SMONEĆTEN is a place where people would go to harvest the materials they needed to thrive. As these places were taken from W̱SÁNEĆ people, new names were placed on the landscape and our presence in the eyes of settlers was diminished. But, within W̱SÁNEĆ culture, this information was never forgotten. We held it tight to our chest waiting for people to listen once again. Today, I am proud to see the government begin the process of listening by taking these small steps toward preserving and honouring W̱SÁNEĆ culture and history.”
Chief Don Tom,
Chairman, W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council