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Qualicum First Nation gifts town with name ‘Saahtlam’ for former St. Andrews Park

Plaque and interpretive sign to be installed
The former St. Andrews Park at the waterfront in Qualicum Beach was given a new name by the Qualicum First Nation, ‘Saahtlam’. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)

The Town of Qualicum Beach has accepted a gift from the Qualicum First Nation of the name ‘Saahtlam’ for the waterfront park formerly known as St. Andrews.

The name Saahtlam refers to the green at the mouth of the river. Qualicum Beach council unanimously voted to endorse the name and a plaque to be installed recognizing the gift of the name from the First Nation.

READ MORE: Nanaimo school makes name change official in spirit of truth and reconciliation

Mayor Brian Wiese said this was proposed to the Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Recalma, who was invited to visit the park and got the opportunity to reflect on the vision of what they saw there and what it meant to them.

“A lot of heartfelt conversation and thought went into this name,” said Wiese. “Getting gifted a name from the Qualicum First Nation is amazing. Sounds corny. I am getting goosebumps but it’s an amazing thing.”

Coun. Teunis Westbroek made an an added request to include an interpretive sign to reflect on how the naming gift came to be and the process involved with the Qualicum First Nation. Council unanimously favoured the motion.

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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