Oct. 31 marked the official naming ceremony of Lake Cowichan’s new town square, which Mother Nature complemented by providing both sunshine and a rainbow.
A group of about 25 people including the mayor, town council, tribal council, the Lake Cowichan First Nations tribe and other spectators, gathered at Ts’uubaa-asatx Square, named by the Lake Cowichan First Nations tribe.
“The choice of the name was where we come from. We called it Ts’uubaa-asatx, the people from the front of the lake, by the rivers, by the streams. It shows that we’re the people living by the lake,” said Chief Cyril Livingstone.
The naming ceremony was intentionally kept simple, as the official opening ceremony will wait for official completion of the square and attendance by all stakeholders.
Livingstone blessed the square with a prayer and later expressed his pleasure with the event.
“It’s a good feeling because we’ve been working with the town for quite a few years now. It’s good to have a working relationship with the Town of Lake Cowichan,” said Livingstone.
Tribal member Aaron Hamilton shared that about six months ago, the tribe began looking to work with the municipality to create a symbol of the Lake Cowichan First Nations tribe within town, since there was nothing at that point. Town council responded by suggesting the square would be named for the tribe.
“We were blown away,” said Hamilton.
Mayor Ross Forrest thanked the Lake Cowichan tribe who came up with the name for the square.
“Council and the Town of Lake Cowichan are very proud of our Lake Cowichan First Nations and the name that they’ve come up with because it represents especially our First Nations but also all the people of Lake Cowichan. It’s a perfect, fitting name for our community and we’re thrilled to have this name.”
Additional signs are planned for the square which will include the phonetic pronunciation of the word as well as it’s meaning.
The mayor mentioned that while this was not the official opening of the square, which he suggested might be next spring, it is now open for use and townspeople are welcome to submit applications to host events such as a weekly market in the square.