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HomeNewsCouncil to endorse Secwepemc word meaning unity as name for new bridge

Council to endorse Secwepemc word meaning unity as name for new bridge

Williams Lake City Council has narrowed down a name for the new pedestrian bridge.

Councillor Craig Smith recommended the name Nekw7usem (pronounced: Nek-woo-sum) that means unity to be chosen at this past Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting.

He said no to the first name Knepentwecw (pronounced: K-ne-pen-t-wow) which means ‘we come together’.

“As much as I love the meaning of the word, the reason why I didn’t think it was a good choice was it’s very close to a child and family agency in Williams Lake,” he said. “So I didn’t want it mistaken that it was to do with the agency. Even though the words are different they’re very, very similar.”

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As for the third option to name the bridge after Chief Felix Bob who was the first elected Chief of the Williams Lake Indian Band, Smith said he believes it would be better to use his name on a park as the City has a park named after its first Mayor.

Councillor Marnie Brenner thanked the Williams Lake Indian Band for their work and presentation that was previously made to Council and suggested if it would be possible to combine the two names Chief Felix Bob Nekw7usem for the bridge.

“I’m in support of Nekw7usem,” Councillor Ivan Bonnell said. “As I mentioned to Council I thought that was the right thing. The bridge runs north and south, and it’s symbolic of the relationship between the two communities and where we’re going with the bigger picture. I just want to remind Council that we do have a new park there and the WLIB community also has a parcel of land there as well there that hasn’t been named either yet so there are many options in that area.”

As for not naming the bridge after RC Cotton who at some point had owned the property, Mayor Walt Cobb said after some research he had learned that the RC Cotton ranch was actually at Riske Creek.

“The only reason that property was bought and used by RC Cotton was the stockyards used to be down there, and every fall they would do a cattle drive and bring the cattle down and needed a place to store them so he bought the property to store his cows while they were waiting to be shipped,” Cobb said. “It was never a ranch.”

The name Nekw7usem is expected to be ratified by Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 10.

“My thought to be perfectly honest with you was to have the way that it’s spelled and then have a phonetic pronouncer underneath,” Smith said. “But I think I will leave that up to staff to come up with a great design.”

A plaque and unveiling of the name of the bridge will take place at a ribbon-cutting in May.

 

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