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How this project came about
At the May 12, 2021 community-to-community-to-community (3C) meeting, Tla’amin Executive Council requested the City of Powell River consider a name change in light of the devastating legacy the actions of Israel Powell has had and continues to have on the Tla’amin people (see Who was Israel Powell section for more information). Because of the City’s commitment to reconciliation, and through the agreements in the Community Accord, the City and the Tla’amin Nation have entered into a conversation to explore a possible renaming of the City through a Joint Working Group.
A new name has not been predetermined. Tla’amin Hegus John Hackett (elected leader of the Tla’amin Nation) expressed desire for a new name that is more respectful and inclusive and more reflective of both the oral history of these lands and the present-day collaboration between the Tla’amin Nation and the City. While part of this engagement process is to see if there is support among city residents to change the name of the City of Powell River, the Joint Working Group also sees this process as a way to:
Foster positive conversations between residents about the values we share in a way that builds unity and pride.
Develop a shared understanding amongst residents of the harms and negative effects of colonialism, past and present.
Deepen understanding, commitment and pride amongst residents about truth, justice, and reconciliation in action.
Develop greater community consensus and understanding about the role of place naming in building a more welcoming and inclusive community.
Communicate to residents why consideration of a name change is important for our shared commitment to reconciliation.
The next few months will be an opportunity for dialogue, thought exchange and learning. We understand many of you are curious about a possible name change and what that might mean for our community.
As we move into this work, we encourage everyone to approach this conversation with curiosity, kindness and respect.
Start conversations and ask questions. You may disagree with your friend or neighbour, and remember, you both love this place. Be curious.
This process will include sharing information and learning about what happened in the past. We do this so we can move forward in a good way together. There is a lot for everyone to learn in these conversations and throughout this process. Be open to learning.
We are still living in a global pandemic; people have suffered terrible losses and we are still trying to make our way through this. There is no place for racism in these conversations. We can agree to disagree with each other without bringing harm. Be kind and respectful.
Questions and Written submission can be sent to email@example.com.