FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tla’amin Nation and the Ministry of Transportation Reveal New Dual Language Highway Signs Throughout the Region
QATHET, B.C., November 22, 2022 – The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, in collaboration with Tla’amin Nation, have installed the first dual language sign featuring both ʔayʔaǰuθəm and English in Tla’amin Territory.
In 2016, just prior to the Tla’amin Treaty Effective Date, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) made a commitment to Tla’amin Nation to update highway signs to reflect Tla’amin’s traditional ʔayʔaǰuθəm place names in the Tla’amin’s Territory.
“The Tla’amin Nation acknowledges with gratitude the hard work that has been put into this project to make it possible.” Says Hegus John Hackett. “Seeing our place names on official signage in our territory is very important to Tla’amin people. These names have existed since time immemorial and hold important information that have been passed down through generations for millennia. This project is a crucial step towards decolonization and reconciliation in our Territory.”
“These dual-language signs preserve and promote Tla’amin place names.” Says MP Nicholas Simons. “Strengthening our connection to the original language of our region reflects our goal of reconciliation and taking steps towards righting historical wrongs.”
MP Rachel Blaney shares that “Many communities across Canada and here in BC have been quietly working at bringing their languages back from a few speakers to many, mostly due to the diligent efforts and interests of young people working with respected elders in their communities. Language is the elixir of life; it informs the culture and identity of a community and represents many, many generations of traditional knowledge. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action highlights the need for a collective effort to protect and renew Indigenous languages. The Dual language signs are an essential, modest start to a mutual and on-going education. Anything we learn, in any language, becomes a building block for more language learning. It is beautiful to see these words written in the Tla’amin language and to hear these name places spoken in their original form. This is truly a meaningful gesture of sharing. Thank you for this gift.”
The acknowledgement of Tla’amin’s traditional place names is a key part of Reconciliation. As outlined in
Article 13 (1) of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), Indigenous
peoples have the right to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages,
oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures, and to designate and retain their own
names for communities, places and persons.
The first sign was unveiled during a ceremony at tiskʷat on Tuesday November 22, and the rest of the installations
will be done in coming weeks.
About Tla’amin Nation
Tla’amin Nation has been a self- governing Modern Treaty Nation since April 5th, 2016. The Tla’amin People
speak ʔayʔaǰuθəm, a language that is a part of the Coast Salish language family. Tla’amin Nation has a long
and deep history in this territory, having lived on these lands for over 10,000 years.
Possible City Name Change Website: www.powellriver.ca/pnc
Steve Gallagher, Communications, Tla’amin Nation, firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure