Pouring rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of participants who attended a naming ceremony for the Nekw7usem Bridge connecting RC Cotton Trail to Scout Island held Monday, May 17 in Williams Lake.
Leadership and representation from the city of Williams Lake and Williams Lake First Nation gathered at noon for drumming and short speeches from Mayor Walt Cobb and Chief Willie Sellars.
With the English pronunciation “Nek-woo-som,” Nekw7usem was one of three names submitted by Williams Lake First Nation and means unity.
“The name that was chosen — unity — is very, very important as our two communities work together for a common goal,” Cobb said.
Sellars said giving the bridge a Secwepmec name is a great start and will help dispel public perceptions on social media that there is “lots of contention between First Nation and non-First Nation people.”
“We are building relationships with our non-First Nations and First Nations neighbours and we have to start publicizing and celebrating them more because Williams Lake is a great place to live and is the traditional territory of the Williams Lake First Nation, part of the Secwepmec Nation.”
Cobb thanked everyone involved with the ceremony and the production of bridge, as well as one of the local mills that donated a surveillance camera.
“There are many, many people that were involved in the project,” Cobb said.