Shelly Boyd of the Sinixt Nation told city council on Monday that the Sinixt word for the Nelson area means “dead trees.” Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Sinixt ask for Indigenous names on signs

Shelly Boyd said she visited city council to open a dialogue

Shelly Boyd would like to see signage in and around Nelson with Sinixt words for places and things.

“The city could do it or we could do it,” she said. “It is not too hard or expensive to put up a sign.”

The Arrow Lakes facilitator for the Colville Confederated tribes, which include the Sinixt, spoke to Nelson city council on Monday.

She didn’t specifically request signage, she just suggested it. She was there to open a dialogue, she said, “about naming some places with traditional names. It might bring greater understanding. It’s about promoting language and it is also about promoting truth. If this was the original name of this place, we should know that.”

She said a good example can be found in the Flathead Valley in Montana.

“We would love to have it done throughout the area. You know this information, this knowledge, is all locked up in books. We still have some remaining fluent speakers who have been speakers since birth. It would be nice to have it done in a time that they could see this.”

She said names are part of the truth side of the truth and reconciliation process.

“According to National Geographic, our language is one of the 10 most endangered in the world.”

Mayor Deb Kozak thanked Boyd for coming, and asked, “Why now?”

“Why not now?” Boyd replied. She said she wanted to make an appearance to increase information about her culture and language, and she said she would be going to other city councils as well.

Kozak asked Boyd whether she had talked to other regional aboriginal groups about her signage ideas.

“You can only work with who comes to the table,” Boyd said. “Reconciliation and truth and partnerships is where we should all be looking.

“This territory is historically Sinixt but how things change and where people come later on, that is part of changes in history and we have to respect that. I don’t want to be negative toward other native people.”

Boyd’s presentation was made at a committee of the whole meeting, where council hears presentations but does not make decisions on them.

Just Posted

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

Mungall to host CleanBC open house in Nelson

Michelle Mungall is hosting an open house on CleanBC at L.V. Rogers on Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Youth climate strikers present to regional district

Next continent-wide school strike for climate planned for Nelson May 3

Glacier Gymnastics wins 12 medals at provincials

The club sent eight athletes to the event

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read