New road signs around Tofino, B.C. are going bilingual.
The new signs will have both English and Nuu-chah-nulth names to show respect to First Nations with long-standing connection to the area.
Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne says the signs, which direct people to nearby beaches and major destinations, came out of long discussions with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which claims Tofino as its traditional territory and speaks the Nuu-chah-nulth language.
"I think it's been a long time coming and something that certainly shows the respect for the place that we live and shows that we all live here together," Osborne told All Points West host Robyn Burns.
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While many places like Cox Bay or Chesterman Beach have names in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, some places needed to be named by Tla-o-qui-aht for the first time.
"There are places like downtown Tofino or Industrial Way or Visitor Information Centre that needed new names brought forward," Osborne said.
She says Industrial Way is her favourite.
"We would translate it to 'made from blasting.' … A lot of blasting was done in the past to make this road."
Osborne says she hopes the bilingual signs will improve visitors' awareness of the culture of local First Nations.
"Seeing [Nuu-chah-nulth] on signs is a reminder that there's another culture here," she said.
"We're moving towards not just these wayfinding signs, but larger signs that indicate when you're coming into the municipality of Tofino that you're in Tla-o-qui-aht territory."
Osborne expects the signs to go up in about a month's time.
To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Tofino posting signs in English and Nuu-chah-nulth languages