Burnaby Mountain, Burnaby, B.C.

Looking north from Burnaby Mountain Park. The near shoreline is known to the Squamish as Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten.
Arbutus or lhulhuḵw’ay (always peeling tree)

Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten, “‘where the bark gets pe[e]led’ in spring” is the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) place name for the area that was formerly Barnet Mill, and today is known as Barnet Marine Park. It is at the base of Burnaby Mountain, home of Simon Fraser University. In modern usage this name is often used to refer to all of Burnaby Mountain.

The name Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áytenderives from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh word for arbutus, lhulhuḵw’aywhich comes from lhuḵw’ (peel), and means “always peeling tree”. For generations, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people have seasonally harvested this tree’s bark, using it for different cultural purposes. It can be made into a tea, which is used as an eyewash, and the leaves can be chewed to treat colds and tuberculosis.

Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people also harvested cedar bark on Burnaby Mountain. Used for spiritual and utilitarian purposes, cedar is one of the most culturally important trees. Bark peeling remains an important practice that continues today throughout Sḵwx̱wú7mesh lands. In the spring, when the tree sap is running, strips of cedar bark are carefully peeled from the trunk in a way that does not damage the tree. Uses of the bark have included basketry, mats, clothing, and rope. In the past, newborn babies were also wrapped and diapered in the softer inner bark.

Additional information

  • Bouchard, Randy, and Dorothy Kennedy. 1986  Squamish Nation Land Use And Occupancy. Report submitted to Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council, BC Indian Language Project, Victoria, British Columbia.
  • 1976  Knowledge And Usage of Land Mammals Birds, Insects, Reptiles And Amphibians By The Squamish Indian People Of British Columbia. BC Indian Language Project, Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Bouchard, Randy, and Nancy Turner. 1976  Ethnobotany Of The Squamish Indian People Of British Columbia. BC Indian Language Project, Victoria, British Columbia.
  • Matthews, John S. 1955  Conversations with Khatsahlano. Compiled by The City Archivist  Vancouver, British Columbia.