Park board begins process of renaming Canada Island

SPOKANE, Wash. - The City of Spokane reached out to local tribes and the Canadian government and, this week, will begin the process of finding a new name for Canada Island in Riverfront Park.

The island was so named to recognize Canada's participation in Expo 74. The park board wants to rename the island to better reflect the Spokane Tribe of Indians' connection to the site and preserve that part of our region's heritage.

"Renaming the island marks the beginning of a partnership to highlight the sacred connection between this island and the Spokane Tribe," the Park Board said in a news release Monday. "And, to ensure that all people who visit the island in the days and years to come will know and appreciate its strong native history."

It's a significant change the Canadian government recognized last summer.

"Small acts like renaming Canada Island to honor the original inhabitants of he Spokane area are symbolically important to the ongoing process in both Canada and the U.S. to heal and to build new relationships based on the recognition of tribal rights, respect, trust, cooperation and partnership," said Consul General of Canada James K. Hill. "I applaud your decision and the spirit of respect and honour it represents."

The Park Board will consider the resolution to begin the process at the November 10th meeting. Public comment will be accepted at 1:30 in the Spokane City Council Chambers. The board will follow the lead of the Spokane Tribe of Indians to provide a recommended name.

The Park Board hopes to select a new name at either its December 8th or January 12th meeting. You can also provide your input via email to spokaneparks@spokanecity.org. You can call 625-6200. Or you can write to the Park Board at City Hall, 808 Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201.