Like several other recent writers of letters to this paper, I celebrate the inclusion of the shíshálh names on our local signs.
When we go to other countries, most of us are keen to learn about the local history and culture. My husband and I travel often in New Zealand, and we have been impressed by how much the original Maori language has been retained not only into their place names, but also as everyday phrases such as the all-encompassing greeting “kia ora” (hello, good day, how are you?) which is used by all Kiwis, regardless of background. It’s been a pleasurable challenge to learn how to correctly pronounce Maori place names such as Paraparaumu, Kaukapakapa, or Oturehua among other ones that obviously reflect settler culture (Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown).
So I am pleased that both shíshálh and settler names are included on our signs, to recognize our dual history on these beautiful shores. Now what I’d love to see is a new video on the shíshálh website to help me learn how to correctly pronounce the place names so that I can properly welcome visitors to x’wilkway (Halfmoon Bay). I think our many tourist visitors (when they can come back!) will be just as interested in our coastal history as we are when we travel to other lands.
Ruth Rodgers, Halfmoon Bay