New signage honouring B.C.’s Indigenous nations and their languages was recently installed at two SeaBus transit terminals in Vancouver.
Located at Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay, the signage supports the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous languages. It also helps create awareness of the deep connections to the land and waters by the ancestors and current community members of the shared and unceded territories of xʷməθkʷəyə̓m (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation).
The two languages on display are hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, which is spoken by (but not limited to) the xʷməθkʷəyə̓m and səlilwətaɬ Nations, and the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim Squamish language.
Created by Indigenous artists ʔəy̓xʷatəna:t Kelly Cannell, Siobhan Joseph, andqʷənat Angela George, the artwork serves as a tribute to the Chinook salmon. The species has played an important role in life on the West Coast for generations and is a critical part of the ecosystem in Burrard Inlet and the Pacific Ocean.
The installations are inspired by artwork on the Burrard Chinook SeaBus, which launched in July 2021.
“We’re honoured to have xʷməθkʷəyə̓m, Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səlilwətaɬ Nations and Indigenous artists share their sacred and unique languages, histories, and cultures with us,” says Kevin Quinn, CEO of TransLink, the transit commission which operates the SeaBus. “Our hope is the combination of these cultural recognition pieces will remind us of the important work we have to do to support lasting and meaningful Reconciliation.”