Squiala First Nation Chief David Jimmie and City of Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove stand at one of the entrance signs to Chilliwack, which now include a Halq’eméylem phrase. (Submitted photo)

Chilliwack adds Halq’eméylem welcome phrase to highway signs

New wording means: ‘Good that you came’ in local First Nations language

A new greeting with deep roots has been added to the signs that travellers see when entering Chilliwack on the highway.

Decals with the Halq’eméylem phrase “Ey Kw’as Emi Elep” have been added to the large white signs at the east and west side of the city. As noted on the signs, it means “good that you came.”

The welcome greeting has been added in recognition of the Indigenous population in Chilliwack and the surrounding areas, the City of Chilliwack said Thursday.

They add that “supporting truth and reconciliation is an important council objective.”

The new additions on the signs also include a design that features a circle with concentric crescents, that “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.

READ MORE: Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park being considered for renaming

“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,” added Chief 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 like-minded 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.

READ MORE: Fabrication work for Vedder Bridge roundabout art project is well underway


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of ChilliwackFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Permanent fish-passage solutions consdiered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

Chilliwack Community Services ends Community Driver program

The volunteer-driven offering helped clients get to important medical appointments

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Chilliwack River Road just north of Promontory will see partial road closure

The northbound lane of Chilliwack River Road will be closed Sept. 29 and Sept. 30

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Surrey’s Rialto Theatre shutters after 200% rent increase imposed

Owner says he’s devastated by the closure of the 26-year-old business

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Most Read