Staff to look into updating park naming policy to include Indigenous, stakeholder input

As a Sharon Drive park got its name, Fort Erie’s mayor asked staff to consider ways to include the Indigenous community in future naming efforts.

Credit: Town of Fort Erie | Facebook

The new park at 1447 Sharon Drive, which was finished last summer and recently transferred ownership to the Town of Fort Erie, will be called High Pointe Park. And while Wayne Redekop said he believes that’s an appropriate name, he did relay a question received about whether an Indigenous name for the park was considered.

“Do you know whether there was any outreach with respect to any Indigenous names, and if not for this park, whether that will be something considered in the future?” the mayor asked town staff as the report was on the floor.

“We did not consult (the Indigenous community) because that is not our policy currently,” replied Anamika Dilwaria, the town’s director of planning and development services.

However, the planner said staff can look into updating the policy to include potential stakeholders such as the Indigenous community for future naming projects.

Currently, staff consider several principles in naming a town park. Many of the principles revolve around uniqueness of the name, portraying a positive image for the town, and that the name should “be understandable and justifiable to town residents,” the report said.

There are three categories of names the town typically considers: geographic, historic and cultural, and prominent individuals or organizations.

Under those criteria, the staff report said the park could be renamed to honour Indigenous people or using Indigenous terminology.

“However, in the case of the park located at 1447 Sharon Drive, it is staff’s opinion that the proposed name ‘High Pointe Park’, referencing the geographic context of the Spears High Pointe neighbourhood, would be a more fitting designation for this particular location,” the report said.

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