Canadians Reject Any Changes to Stanley Park’s Name

by Angus Reid | July 7, 2010 4:00 am

Two-in-five respondents believe Canada has “gone too far” in accommodating to Aboriginal peoples.

Most Canadians oppose the recent proposal to either amend or change the name of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

Last week, a hereditary chief from the Squamish First Nation suggested changing the name of Vancouver’s Stanley Park to Xwayxway (pronounced kwhy-kway).

Stanley Park opened in 1888 and is named after Lord Stanley, who at the time served as Canada’s Governor General. Xwayxway was the name of an Aboriginal village located inside what is now Stanley Park.

In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,009 Canadian adults, 61 per cent of respondents think the park should retain its current name.

About one-in-four (23%) would rename the park as Stanley Park – Xwayxway, and six per cent would change the park’s name to Xwayxway.

Ontarians (74%) and British Columbians (73%) have the highest level of opposition to any name change.

In British Columbia, the names of specific areas have been changed recently to showcase Aboriginal culture and history. The Strait of Georgia was renamed Salish Sea, and the Queen Charlotte Islands were renamed Haida Gwaii. Canadians are split when assessing these two cases, with 43 per cent agreeing with the name changes, and 44 per cent disagreeing.

Albertans (58%) and British Columbians (50%) are more likely to disagree with the Salish Sea and Haida Gwaii name changes.

Two-in-five Canadians (43%) believe Canada has gone too far in accommodating to Aboriginal peoples, while 31 per cent think the situation has been handled correctly, and 18 per cent say more should be done.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)[1]

Methodology: From July 5 to July 6, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,009 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

  1. Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF):

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