The RC Cotton site bridge in Williams Lake will have a Secwepemc name.
Joined by Elders, cultural coordinator for the Williams Lake Indian Band, David Archie spoke to three possible names for the bridge and its significance at Tuesday’s regular council meeting.
Band chief administrative officer Aaron Mannella says there is a real spirit of collaboration between the Williams Lake Indian Band and City of Williams Lake.
He says they met last December to collaborate and to discuss partnership for the future.
“One of the topics of discussion was around the possible naming of some sites in the local city area,” Mannella says. “So the City was kind enough to promote the idea of commemorating this new bridge and we think it serves to symbolize the past collaboration but also underlying the promise of the future between these two communities.”
Williams Lake Mayor and Council spoke in favor of the proposal.
Band Councillor Joanne Moiese says she was excited to hear the comments by City Council. She says as there is an area nearby named after the City’s first Mayor, Herb Gardner, she believes it would be fitting that the bridge could be named Chief Felix Bob who was the first elected Chief of the Williams Lake Indian Band and is a member of her extended family.
“Also my grandfather was the last hereditary Chief, Chief James Louie,” she added. “But I’m happy with any of the names and I like that they were just looking at it as the connection of two communities, two nations that are coming together and will continue to work to build strength and to build between traditional and contemporary ways of life.”
City Council will choose one of the three names and how it can be represented on a plaque that will be unveiled at a later grand opening through further discussion after having referred it to a committee meeting.
A soft opening for the bridge takes place Friday.