Seabird Island holds ceremony to acknowledge traditional lands

Traditional names of Agassiz Research Station, Hicks Lake and more re-announced

Seabird Island Band held a Pronouncement Ceremony on Nov.14 to re-announce eight of its traditional Halq’eméylem place names.

Seabird Island is one seven bands under Tiyt (or Teit) territory, which also includes Chawathil, Peters, Popkum, Seabird Island, Skawahlook, Shxw’owhamel, Union Bar and Yale.

Officiated by Steven and Mark Point, Seabird Island re-announced the names of eight locations significant to itself and neighbouring bands for thousands of years, locations known and used by many today.

In an emailed statement, Marie Vander Heiden, Seabird Island’s director of lands & government affairs, emphasized the importance of the place names, which include what is known in English as the Agassiz Research Station, Hicks Lake and Bear Mountain.

“Seabird Island Band has a great Strength of Claim, as well as, those Bands/First Nations who share under the Tiyt Tribe,” she stated. “The history for all of these names and places go far back, and the captivating stories, pictures, data collection and artifacts leave you breathless.”

The traditional names pronounced at the ceremony were:

• Alámex, the current Agassiz Research Station

• Pèps˜Píps, Hicks Creek

• Siyó:ylexwe Smá:lt, Bear Mountain

• Xixewqèyl, Maria Slough

• Lhewálh, Trout Creek

• Qwôhóls, Manhood Creek & Johnson Slough

Names are still being researched for Hicks Lake and Deer Lake.

Numerous calls made to Seabird Island for more information on this ceremony were not returned.

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