Apologies to those who were planning to watch the live stream of Sunday’s blessing ceremony for the Coast Salish sign – we are unable to provide live streaming. However, we will be posting video as soon as possible after the event. Meribeth Deen is creating a short documentary of the ceremony, the sign, and how it came to be.
Due to COVID-19 health orders, we ask that members of the public please do not attend the ceremony itself. To ensure everyone’s safety and to respect the specific wishes of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation participants, this event cannot be a public in-person event.
The sign will be unveiled June 21 (National Indigenous Peoples Day) with representatives from the Skwxwú7mesh Nation and invited representatives of Bowen Island. Squamish Nation will bless our new sign, as it is unveiled to welcome residents and guests to Nexwlélexwm (Bowen Island).
Again, to ensure physical distancing measures we ask that members of the public please do not attend this event in person.
Once completed, Deen’s full documentary will be available at bowenlibrary.ca and at thehearth.ca.
Pauline Le Bel explained the story behind the sign in her recent Undercurrent story about this historic event. Squamish people called this island Kwilàkm and Nexwlélexwm long before settlers attached “Bowen Island” to its shores. Now the island will recognize its original name with a sign at the Snug Cove Dock alongside the “Bowen Island Welcomes You” sign. The unveiling of the sign is part of the Knowing Our Place reconciliation initiative, which Le Bel began three years ago with the dedicated support of the Bowen Island Arts Council and the Bowen Library.
Funding for this initiative was gratefully received from the following contributors: Rina Freed of Source Environmental Associates, Bowen Island Municipality, who will install and maintain the sign, Heritage Canada and through a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Bowen Island Community Foundation, Bowen Island Municipality, and the Vancouver Foundation.