Hul’q’umi’num language signs unveiled at Wul’aam Park

(North Cowichan, BC) – Penelakut Tribe Elders were part of a group of community members who helped unveil new park and trail signage at Wul’aam Park in Chemainus, as part of National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations on June 21.

Trail names and signage are in Hul’q’umi’num, the language of First Nations Peoples in the area, including the Penelakut who would pass through the area around Wul’aam Park on their vision quests and to gather medicines.

The names and signage were developed by students at Penelakut School, together with Elders who shared their traditional knowledge and language.

“This project is a wonderful testament to the immense knowledge shared by Penelakut Elders,” said Acting Mayor Debra Toporowski (Qwulti’ stunaat). “These signs will also be a tremendous resource for trail users, who can learn traditional knowledge and some words in Hul’q’umi’num as they enjoy the park.”

Wul’aam Park, which means echo in Hul’q’umi’num, was originally called Echo Heights in reference to the residential development in the area. The park was conceived in 2013 through efforts by community members such as Mark Kiemele and Kathy Wachs, and former mayor Jon Lefebure, who ensured this beautiful space was preserved for all to enjoy. Penelakut Chief Earl Jack, Elder Florence James, and Elder Auggie Sylvester also understood the need to preserve this space and provided their support to this effort.

Three trailhead kiosk signs – including one funded and constructed by Rotary Club of Chemainus volunteers – as well as trail markers throughout the 20 hectare park include names in English and Hul’q’umi’num.

A video documenting the work on creating the signs, as well as highlighting the traditional knowledge of the Elders, is currently in production and will be shared in the coming days.

Wul’aam Park is located at 3217 Channel Blvd at Echo Heights Road in Chemainus.

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Event photos (click to enlarge)


Penelakut Elder, Florence James and Acting Mayor, Debra Toporowski


Florence James speaks about the history Wul'aam Park


Debra Toporowski, Florence James, and Mark Kiemele cut the ribbon and unveil the new kiosk signage


Wul'aam Park kiosk sign


Wul'aam Park trail post sign

Media Contact:         
Debra Toporowski, Acting Mayor
T: 250-746-3117
E: debra.toporowski@northcowichan.ca