The City of Terrace is moving forward to include First Nations people, culture, and languages when naming streets in the future.
In a Jan.10 meeting, council approved a motion proposed by Coun. Dave Gordon to review the city’s existing policy number 105 which establishes a framework for naming municipal highway/ streets to reflect diversity, culture and social strength.
“I think it’s time that we start looking at inclusion of First Nations language, culture, people in our street names amongst other areas in the city,” said Gordon in the council meeting.
Gordon says it’s a small step towards reconciliation, especially since Terrace does not have street names that reflect First Nations people and culture.
“We’ve done a really good job at recognizing the people that have worked hard to build Terrace and we seem to have a gap when it comes to our First Nations people in our community, which for that is a significant part of our population,” said Gordon.
Supporting Gordon’s proposal, Coun. Sean Bujtas also suggested broadening this aspect beyond street naming.
Bujtas proposed adding Sm’álgyax, a dialect of Tsimshian language, to the Welcome to Terrace sign among other prominent city spots including the arena, aquatic centre, city hall and signboards. That way, bilingual signs can be used to highlight existing names of streets and places in the city.
Moving forward, the council will task city staff to investigate options to incorporate Indigenous languages onto public buildings and wayfinding signages as such.
Staff will also be reaching out to both Kitsumkalum and Kitselas for guidance and input that city planners and developers can consider when subdivisions require street names in the future, said City of Terrace spokesperson Kate Lautens.