Signs in McIntyre subdivision tell drivers 'Stop' in Southern Tutchone
It's important that people see their language every day, says Kwanlin Dun First Nation councillor
A Southern Tutchone word has recently been added to stop signs in the McIntyre subdivision of Whitehorse. The translation isn't exact, but the meaning comes through.
"It doesn't mean stop as per say in English," explains Sean Smith of Kwanlin Dün First Nation. "It's Nlan, which means 'Stop that now.'"
The First Nation's initiative is meant to promote language and culture in the community. Smith says it's important that people in his community see their language every day.
He says as fluent speakers in the community age, there is a critical need for more speakers and teachers.
The sign project was part of a partnership with the City of Whitehorse, which also saw the creation of bus shelter artwork designed by Kwanlin Dün artist Justin Smith.
"It really... lifts the people when they see their culture within the community," says Sean Smith.
He says he hopes the First Nation can incorporate more of the Southern Tutchone language into its governance.