|Addition to City Welcome Signs Recognizes Local First Nations||April 30, 2020|
Chilliwack, BC: New decals are now up on the City of Chilliwack welcome signs near the east and west ends of the community. The 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 Chilliwack and surrounding areas.
Supporting truth and reconciliation is an important Council objective. In addition to the Halq’eméylem phrase, a design featuring a circle with concentric crescents speaks to self, family, community and nation. The phrase and design were determined in consultation with Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie, President of Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribe and the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to further recognize the history and strong, continued presence of local First Nations communities,” said Mayor Popove. “While we hope that people will remain in their own communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to having people visit at a later date and these signs will provide a warm welcome to Chilliwack.”
“Reconciliation is complex and requires aboriginal and non-aboriginal peoples to work together to build, maintain and strengthen respectful relationships while recognizing the past and building a future. Language and traditional art may not seem significant to some but are integral to who we are and where we come from,” said Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie. "I am thankful to be working with the City of Chilliwack on various initiatives and see our Halq’eméylem welcome shared on City signs as we take incremental steps in improving our relationship. I am very excited to see the signs up and proud to be working with likeminded individuals”
Chief Jimmie spoke with local artists Jared Deck and Carrielynn Victor regarding the design, which is not proprietary, but had Jared Deck digitize for the signage.
The western sign is located on Royalwood Drive and the eastern sign sits at the corner of Chilliwack Central Road and McElwee Road.
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