City of Delta and Tsawwassen First Nation Unveil New Interpretive Sign at Fred Gingell Park

Mayor George V. Harvie and Chief Ken Baird

Mayor George V. Harvie and Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Ken Baird unveiled a new interpretive sign at Fred Gingell Park earlier this week. Councillor Dylan Kruger was also on hand to celebrate the sign’s unveiling. 

Entitled, Tsawwassen “Land Facing the Sea”, the sign was developed in collaboration with Tsawwassen First Nation and Delta’s Heritage Advisory Commission and recognizes the historical significance of Fred Gingell Park for the scəw̓aθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen Peoples) and other xʷəxʷilməxʷ (Indigenous Peoples). The original scəw̓aθən (Land Facing the Sea) village site known as sƛ̓eləp was located on the beach at the bottom of the bluff of what is now Fred Gingell Park. Visitors can see the site of this ancient Indigenous village from various vantage points at Fred Gingell Park. 

“Extremely proud of our strong relationship with our neighbour, Tsawwassen First Nation, and thankful for their assistance to create a meaningful and respectful acknowledgement, recognizing the significance of this location for the scəw̓aθən people.”
- Mayor George V. Harvie 

“We have a strong, productive relationship with the City of Delta and have worked collaboratively on many projects with much success. Today’s unveiling is another example of how we can work together to honor the Tsawwassen people, history, culture and language. I recommend coming out to enjoy the park and learn a bit of our history in this beautiful area that we are all fortunate to call home.”  
- Chief Ken Baird

The full text of the interpretive sign reads:

Mi ce:p kʷətxʷiləm ƛ̓ scəw̓aθən – Welcome to Tsawwassen!

The breathtaking view before you has been appreciated by the scəw̓aθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen Peoples) and other xʷəxʷilməxʷ (Indigenous Peoples) since time immemorial.  

The original scəw̓aθən (Land Facing the Sea) village site known as sƛ̓eləp, was located on the beach at the bottom of this bluff. The village was named by stəcen, the first man to have lived there. Archaeology confirms occupation of sƛ̓eləp dating back to 2,260 BC. 

The xʷəxʷilməxʷ (Indigenous Peoples) recognized how the meeting of the təməxʷ (land), stal̓əw̓ (river), and k̓ʷaƛ̓k̓ʷa (sea) could provide an abundance of access to seasonal resources, as well as provide a more permanent residence for the scəw̓aθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen Peoples).  The features of this landscape are part of what makes Delta a beautiful place for all to enjoy today.

The City of Delta acknowledges that this is the shared, traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and other Coast Salish Peoples. We extend our appreciation to these First Nations for the opportunity to enjoy this land together. 

The Heritage Advisory Commission's interpretive sign program aims to provide Delta-wide recognition of important historic locations to help raise awareness of Delta’s rich and diverse heritage.

For more information on this news release, contact the Mayor’s Office at 604-946-3210 or e-mail mayorharvie@delta.ca.

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an interpretive sign in a park