ímesh (To Walk)

November 22, 2019
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Ímesh Version 1.3 Release

The Bill Reid Centre at SFU (BRC) and technology partner SNF New Media Lab at SFU have launched  ímesh (to walk) version 1.3 for iOS on the App Store. The updated app contains a new walk focusing on Burnaby Mountain Park and provides place names that are significant to the skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

Download here: https://apps.apple.com/ca/app/indigenous-art-at-sfu/id1105282265

The recently added walk is an acknowledgement of Coast Salish territories that takes recognition beyond words, and allows users to physically experience the landscape and the languages of the local Coast Salish peoples.

The term Coast Salish refers to people from many different communities along the coast of the Salish Sea, near present-day southern British Columbia, Washington, and northern Oregon. Prior to colonial governments imposing boundaries on these communities and their membership, people identified themselves according to their family relationships and the villages where they lived.

Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Mountain Campus is located on the traditional territories of four Coast Salish First Nations: The skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛw̓əm (Kwikwetlem) and the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). These nations have a spiritual, cultural, and economic connection to this land that spans thousands of years, and they have marked the land with many named places. These place names embody kowledge that connect people, animals, villages, mountains, bodies of water, the supernatural, and entire territories with one another.

The place names in this walk were provided by our səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ and skwxwú7mesh collaborators in their respective languages. The səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) speak the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Hun’qumyi’num) language, as do the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and the kʷikʷəƛw̓əm (Kwikwetlem), while the sḵwx̱wú7mesh speak a different language known as sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim. It is important to note that these names reflect the relationship between the BRC and our collaborators. Each First Nation has its own names for locations throughout their territories.

We are deeply indebted to Dr. Rudy Reimer (Yumks), sḵwx̱wú7mesh archaeologist, SFU Faculty member, and Director of the Bill Reid Centre, as well as Mr. Gabriel George, a prominent community leader and Manager of Language and Culture at səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ Nation, for their guidance, support, and generosity on this project. We are deeply grateful to these two individuals for sharing their knowledge of the landscape, and of their respective languages with us.