Powell River City Council is discussing changing the city’s name, following an official request from the new administration of the Tla'amin First Nation.
CKTZ News spoke with Powell River City Coun. Cindy Elliott who will be involved in the project. She has personal reasons for doing so — Elliott is partly Indigenous and her granddaughter is Tla'amin.
“I don’t want her to grow up thinking that grandma didn’t care, because I do," she said.
A community engagement process will include information about the city’s current namesake — Dr. Israel Powell — British Columbia’s first Superintendent of Indian Affairs who was instrumental in creating residential schools and outlawing Indigenous cultural practices.
Elliott has a wealth of professional experience in building consensus, including past work in Economic Development and Indigenous Relations with both the BC and Alberta provincial governments. She was elected to the council in 2018, and will be running for re-election in 2022, partly because she wants to see this particular project to fruition.
In August, two other locations on the Sunshine Coast were restored to their original names. The Province announced in a press release that through cooperation with the shíshálh Nation, the name of the Wilson Creek community and nearby creek is now ts’uḵw’um, and Saltery Bay again bears its name of sḵelhp.