We first wish to acknowledge the many Coast Salish Peoples on whose unceded traditional Ancestral territories we live and work today. Our community is home to səw̓q̓ʷeqsən, a Musqueam winter village and cemetery that dates back nine thousand years. It has been referred to as the Glenrose and St. Mungo Cannery archaeological site by newcomers.
Seven First Nations were partners in developing “səw̓q̓ʷeqsən – The Place of Learning and Recognition Area” located at the south footing of the Alex Fraser Bridge just off River Road in North Delta.
They are q̓ic̓əy̓ Katzie First Nation, qʼʷa:n̓ƛʼən̓ Kwantlen First Nation, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm Kwikwetlem First Nation, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Musqueam Indian Band, Semiahmoo First Nation, sc̓əwaθn məsteyəxʷ Tsawwassen First Nation, and səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh Nation.
Today, səw̓q̓ʷeqsən provides art and helpful interpretive information displays, as well as a series of lookouts along a 0.8 kilometer scenic trail good for all skill levels. The trail can be used for walking, running, nature trips, and fishing and is accessible year-round.
“Our ancestors had many villages and moved throughout our territory, but their main winter village was always located at the mouth of the Fraser River. Nine thousand years ago, that village was səw̓q̓ʷeqsən (Glenrose). As the river delta grew and the mouth of the river moved, many of our ancestors moved with it. Between 5,000 and 2,500 years ago, our ancient village and burial site of c̓əsnaʔəm was at the mouth of the river. c̓əsnaʔəm is located by what is now known as the Marpole neighbourhood of Vancouver. It remained a major village until about 1,500 years ago, when, with the changing delta, most of our people moved to join those already at xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).”