Vines Art Festival acknowledges that Vancouver is the unceded, unsurrendered ancestral lands and waters of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh). These are the Skwxwú7mesh sníchim speaking (Squamish) and Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm speaking (Tsleil Waututh and Musqueam) ancestors, with this in mind, our programming includes the respective names for the Squamish and Henqiminem languages for the village sites where the parks that our festival takes place on, are now located.

In our program guide, postcard, website and more, you will see some italicized words, these are the Squamish Village site names, this article gives a little bit more of a detailed description and the Henqiminem language village site names as well. There are links to learn more about the Coast Salish village sites and unique cultures. Beyond land acknowledgement, to understand the importance that the stewards of the lands have been Coast Salish people. Despite cultural genocide, residential schools, the Indian Act, The Canadian Government and Colonization, “chet wa i tti“, (pronun: chet wah ay-t’tay) “we are still here”.

The resources for Village Site Names include the Squamish Atlas from the Kwi Awt Stelmexw Cultural Society, and the Musqueam Grammar Reference Book

Park Location
Village Site Name in Skwxwú7mesh sníchim
Short Description from
Village Site Name in Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, some locations are not recorded
Short Description From Musqueam Reference Grammar 

(Vancouver Archival photo – Group near Jericho Charlie’s home in Senakw)

August 8th, 9th
Granville Island
translated to “inside at the head”, a Squamish Village site, seasonal summer and fishing site, and home of August Jack Khatsahlano who was a famous Squamish chief and historian.
‘direct the head there’, The site of the Kitsilano Reserve at the entrance to False Creek.  

Historical archival photo of newspaper on Chin-nal-set / Jericho Charlie, Qwhy-what /Sally, Khay-tulk, Chief Khatsalanough, namesake of the Kitsilano Neighbourhood, Khay-tulk and wife Swanamia in the Canoe pictured.
Kitsilano Beach (Hadden Park)
having red cedar”
Squamish for “burnt face” which might have referred to the hillside after a logging operation there. If the Musqueam is correctly transcribed, it would seem to mean ‘disabled body,’

August 10th

Roundhouse Community Centre
“stuck on to the face”, closest village to this location, referring to a small cove at the foot of what is now Howe Street. 

Strathcona (Trillium Park)
place where water is drawn down into a hole; whirlpool; water spring, or water coming up from ground beneath”; nearest landmark in the language, the location which was the false creek mudflats.

August 12th

Harmony Garden
X̱wemelch’stn pen̓em̓áy
Xwemel’tsn translated to roll (as salmon when spawning),’ and the suffix -ƒ;n ‘mouth, lip, margin.’, and Penemay translated to Garden, This is now known as the Capilano Reserve, Senaqwila named the ‘Xwemeltch’tsn Penemay’ referring to the garden of this villag, the workshop will take place at this lcoation also known as Harmony Garden, a Community Garden.

August 13th, 14th, 16th
Translated to small grove of beautiful maple trees, location recorded as Foot of Abbot and Carrall Streets

August 17th-19th
Trout Lake (John Hendry Park)
Coast Salish Village sites are along the shores, this is too far inland to be a village site.


About the Author: My name is Senaqwila Wyss and I come from the Squamish Nation, and i also have Tsimshian, Sto:lo, Hawaiian and Swiss lineage. I have gathered the village site names to bring awareness to the presence of our three nations in these areas of Vancouver as our unceded territories, ‘Nchu7mut’ – One heart one mind. I am coordinating the Resilient Roots and Communications Management for Vines Festival this year! The need to share the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil Waututh Village Sites are important to hear these names, to bring a deeper context to our relationship to the lands and waters which our people have called home since time immemorial