Some British Columbia politicians are pushing for the province to have its name, coat of arms and flag changed to better reflect the province’s diverse history and population.
During this week’s Lower Mainland Local Government Association’s (LMLGA) annual general meeting, a vote on whether a name change request should be made was put to all of the municipalities present.
The resolution titled “Consideration of Change of Provincial Name, Coat of Arms and Flag” goes on to claim that the province’s name “completely fails to acknowledge either the Indigenous people’s history and culture, or the multi-cultural heritage of the settlers.”
It continues by saying that “the adoption of a more inclusive and historically relevant name would better reflect the diverse population of our Province, and could be considered a reconciliatory action, in consultation with local First Nations.”
“Therefore be it resolved that UBCM request that the Provincial government consider changing the name of British Columbia to a name that better represents the First Nations and multi-cultural residents of the land,” the resolution reads.
According to the vote results, 60% of localities voted against the proposed name change, whereas a startling 40% of municipal politicians wanted the province to be named something different.
The resolution was first put forward by the Village of Pemberton after local councillors debated the issue.
The LMLGA represents 33 local governments from the lower mainland including the City of Vancouver, the City of Surrey, the Corporation of Delta and dozens of other communities.
According to the Government of Canada, the province received its name from Queen Victoria in 1858 when it became a colony.
“The southern part of the area now known as British Columbia was called ‘Columbia,’ after the Columbia River. The central region was given the name of ‘New Caledonia’ by explorer Simon Fraser. To avoid confusion with Colombia in South America and the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean, Queen Victoria named the area British Columbia when it became a colony in 1858,” claims the Government of Canada website.