The six Tŝilhqot’in community names within the Tŝilhqot’in Nation have been adopted as official names within the Province of British Columbia.
Changing place names within the Tŝilhqot’in territory to reflect the history and culture of the area was identified as one of the priorities within the Nenqay Deni Accord between the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and the B.C. government.
The communities have long been referred to by their non-Tŝilhqot’in names within provincial and federal documents. The communities will now be correctly recognized as:
- Tl'esqox – also known as Toosey
- ʔEsdilagh – also known as Alexandria
- Yuneŝit'in – also known as Stone
- Tl'etinqox – also known as Anaham
- Tŝi Deldel – also known as Redstone and Alexis Creek Indian Band
- Xeni Gwet’in – also known as Nemiah Valley
The Tŝilhqot’in names will now appear on provincial government resources, maps and databases.
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman, Tŝilhqot’in National Government –
“The entire Tŝilhqot’in territory has rivers, lakes, mountains and cultural sites that our people have long had names for in the Tŝilhqot’in language. Having our community names adopted by the Province is a small step in gaining recognition of our history, and extensive use of the territory. We look forward to working with the Province to ensure the rich culture of this area is rejuvenated through the process of giving back the true names of our Tŝilhqot’in places and sites.”
Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation –
“Words in their original language have a richness and depth of meaning that cannot hope to be matched when translated into English. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action highlights the importance of language and culture in our joint efforts to advance reconciliation. It is a vital part of connecting people to their heritage and the lands they come from. The formal recognition of the Tŝilhqot’in communities’ proper names is a powerful statement of this important work in action.”
Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development –
“Reclaiming Tŝilhqot’in names for these communities is important and meaningful, because these names demonstrate a deep, direct relationship with the land, and supports recognition of traditional ecological knowledge."
- The Nenqay Deni Accord was signed Feb. 11, 2016, as a framework to government to government negotiations between the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and the Province.
- In October 2017, the Province and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation signed a letter of commitment to ensure key components of the accord are turned into action. They reaffirmed the work under the terms of the accord, and that both parties Tŝilhqot’in will work together to make progress on the eight pillars of reconciliation underpinning their work.
- In September 2015, mileage signs displaying distances to the Tŝilhqot’in communities were erected. This was the first time that Tŝilhqot’in communities were listed on any mileage sign in the Tŝilhqot’in territory in the English or Tŝilhqot’in language.
Nenqay Deni Accord: www.tsilhqotin.ca/Portals/0/PDFs/Nenqay_Deni_Accord.pdf
Tŝilhqot’in National Government: http://www.tsilhqotin.ca/