LETTER: Consider Indigenous presence when replacing Nelson signs

From reader Allison Girvan

Re: Nelson plans to replace welcome signs, April 22

In Chilliwack, the welcome signs feature the Halq’eméylem phrase “EY KW’AS EMI ELEP”, which means “Good that you come/came,” in recognition of the Indigenous population in that location.

In Toronto, signs on several major streets bear their Anishinaabe names, and the iconic “Toronto” sign in Nathan Phillips Square now features a medicine wheel—an Indigenous representation of the circle of life, cultural values, tradition and spirituality.

Outside of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway, signage includes place names in Skwxwú7mesh, the language of the Squamish Nation.

What a significant way to help reflect the enduring presence of Indigenous peoples across Canada/Turtle Island either linguistically or artistically.

With the need to replace Nelson’s “Welcome to” signs, it seems a golden opportunity to take the moment to contemplate how the city might work together with the Indigenous community to imagine collaboratively a beautiful way to welcome visitors to this area.

Allison Girvan


Nelson Star