Sechelt, BC – The District of Sechelt, in partnership with the shíshálh Nation and Heritage BC, will begin the process of updating interpretive signs located in Davis Bay. The three existing signs tell the stories of European explorers who sailed along the Coast in the 18th and 19th centuries. The new signs will include text in both English and she shashíshálhem, and they will publicly acknowledge the shíshálh people and their history in order to reflect both past and present indigenous land use in the area.
This project was developed through dialogue between staff of the District of Sechelt and staff of the shíshálh Nation. The goal is to decolonize the District of Sechelt’s interpretive signs and redress inequity in our story telling. The entire project will be done in collaboration with, and with direction from, shíshálh Nation staff and elders. “This is an important project for the entire community because it shows respect for shíshálh Elders and inclusion of the rich shíshálh history as we walk together through Reconciliation.” ʔakista xaxanak (Garry Feschuk) Hereditary Chief shíshálh Nation.
Since 2018, the District of Sechelt and the shíshálh Nation have been working together towards Reconciliation via the syiyaya Reconciliation Movement. To date this work has included cultural events at the shíshálh Nation longhouse, community weaving projects, and the carving of a Reconciliation pole on the site of the former residential school. “In the spirit of reconciliation and inclusion, we are updating these signs in order to create something more culturally appropriate for the community,” explained Siobhan Smith, Arts, Culture and Communications Coordinator for the District of Sechelt, “this is important work and I am honored to be doing this work with the shíshálh Nation’s staff and elders.” In addition to replacing the signs in Davis Bay, a mural located in downtown Sechelt that depicts several shíshálh men will be restored, and a new plaque installed in order to recognize the names of the people depicted.
This project was funded in part by Heritage BC through the Heritage Legacy Fund.
For information on the sign project, please contact Siobhan Smith at email@example.com
For information about the Heritage Legacy Fund, please contact Laura Saretsky at firstname.lastname@example.org
To become involved in Reconciliation projects in Sechelt, check out the Facebook page “syiyaya Reconciliation Movement” or send an email to email@example.com.