The District of Sechelt is working with the shíshálh Nation to update the interpretive signs along the waterfront in Davis Bay.
The existing signs give the history of 18th and 19th century European explorers who sailed along the coast.
According to the district, the new signs will include text in both English and she shashíshálhem, and publicly acknowledge the shíshálh people and their history in order to reflect both past and present Indigenous land use in the area.
“The goal is to decolonize the District of Sechelt’s interpretive signs and redress inequity in our story telling,” the district said in a press release announcing the changes.
The sign project was developed through dialogue between staff at the district and shíshálh Nation and will be done with collaboration and 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,” said 7akista xaxanak, Garry Feschuk, a shíshálh Nation hereditary chief and one of the chairs of the syiyaya Reconciliation Movement.
“In the spirit of reconciliation and inclusion, we are updating these signs in order to create something more culturally appropriate for the community,” said Siobhan Smith, Sechelt’s arts, culture and communications coordinator.
As well as replacing the signs in Davis Bay, the district and shíshálh Nation will restore a mural in downtown Sechelt that depicts several shíshálh men and add a plaque recognizing the names of the people depicted.
This project is funded in part by Heritage BC.