Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) and Metro Vancouver Regional District (Metro Vancouver) today celebrated the signing of an historic co-operation agreement for Belcarra Regional Park, recognizing both Tsleil-Waututh's ancestral ties to the land and the present use by its members as well as a Metro Vancouver regional park.The Cultural Planning and Co-Operation Agreement – the first of its kind for Metro Vancouver –  formalizes the ongoing collaboration between the two parties and seeks to identify common interests and share ideas on how they can work together to protect, preserve and enhance the regional park for the benefit of present and future generations. The agreement follows years of collaboration between Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Metro Vancouver. Since 2016, Tsleil-Waututh and Metro Vancouver have worked together on various projects at Belcarra Regional Park, including recent plans for the Belcarra Picnic Area, which encompasses the location of an ancestral Tsleil-Waututh village known as təmtəmixʷtən (Tum-tumay-wa-ton)."Today marks an important milestone in Metro Vancouver's ongoing collaboration with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation," said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Board. "This agreement will enable us to work more closely together to enhance and develop a spectacular place we all care strongly about – a place known by Tsleil-Waututh as təmtəmixʷtən – and hopefully bring greater public awareness of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation's cultural history with the site."Təmtəmixʷtən, or "the biggest place for all the people," is the largest of the ancestral Tsleil-Waututh villages, primarily occupied as a winter village. Tsleil-Waututh has occupied təmtəmixʷtən since time out of mind until colonization, and still has strong, ongoing cultural ties to this place."Tsleil-Waututh Nation recognizes all of the hard work put into this Agreement on Belcarra Regional Park, which encompasses part of the təmtəmixʷtən village site. Təmtəmixʷtən, and the surrounding area, continues to be of vital importance to the cultural well-being of Tsleil-Waututh people," said Chief Leah George-Wilson. "The Agreement is also a symbol of our growing relationship with Metro Vancouver; we look forward to future opportunities to work together within and outside the park." "Belcarra Regional Park is a stunning place with natural and human-made features that have important cultural, historical and environmental value for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and residents of Metro Vancouver," said John McEwen, Chair of Metro Vancouver's Regional Parks Committee. "This agreement will allow the public to continue enjoying the park's recreational features, while enhancing Tsleil-Waututh's use of the park and, most importantly, increasing awareness of its heritage and cultural history."The agreement does not abrogate any treaty rights, existing or asserted Aboriginal rights, titles or interests of the Tsleil-Waututh people or applicable legislation, including Metro Vancouver's rights and powers under such legislation.The 1,100-hectare Belcarra Regional Park welcomes more than one million visitors every year, who are drawn to its popular beach, bike paths and scenic trails as well as seasonal swimming in Sasamat Lake. In the past 50 years, Metro Vancouver's Regional Parks system has grown from 3,835 hectares to an estimated 13,600 hectares of parkland, with 23 regional parks, five greenways, two ecological conservancy areas and two regional park reserves in communities stretching from Bowen Island to Maple Ridge.Metro Vancouver's Regional Parks continue to grow in popularity, with approximately 12 million visits recorded every year.