Three host First Nations could have major say in potential Park Board transition

As Ken Sim and his ABC majority on Vancouver City Council push ahead with their plan to dissolve Vancouver’s elected Park Board — they’ll need the green light from the province and the premier has signalled they won’t get that without extensive consultation with local First Nations.

“This is an important transition, there are significant First Nations engagement requirements anytime you’re talking about governance transitions like this in our province,” David Eby said at a Thursday news conference.

His comments echo those of Khelsilem who wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the province must consult with First Nations when amending legislation.

“That means the free, prior, and informed consent of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh on any changes to the Vancouver Charter,” Khelsilem said.

Sim did not make himself available to CTV News for an interview but his office said he would have more to share on First Nations consultation in the New Year.

At Wednesday’s council meeting he said that work had already begun.

“In fact, Chief Wayne Sparrow is a validator on this initiative,” he said. “And we will continue to engage Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh in conversation going forward.”

Many Vancouver parks and green spaces do not actually belong to the city.

For example, Vanier Park and Stanley Park are both on Crown Land that the federal government leases to the Park Board — not the city.

It’s not immediately clear what the dissolution of the Park Board could mean for those agreements.

“What happens with Stanley Park? That’s an interesting question because we know that there were Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh villages on that site that were displaced,” said Pete Fry, a city councillor with the Green Party.

He suggested any or all of the three local First Nations could make a legitimate claim to lands covered by agreements between the Park Board and the federal government.

None of the host nations made anyone available to CTV News to discuss the transition.

Source: CTV News