Bowen Island – Nexwlélexwm

The first thing you see as you depart the ferry and arrive on Bowen Island is a carved wooden sign that says, Bowen Island Welcomes you, and now there is an addition with the word, Nexwlélexwm. Nexwlélexwm is the name of this island that the people of the Squamish Nation have used since time immemorial.

Tina Nielsen and Marysia McGilvray unveil the Nexwlélexwm sign at a the blessing ceremony. Coral Louie, who made the sign watches from the right while Alroy “Bucky” Baker K’etximtn, speaker for the Squamish Nation, is on the left.
Photo by Len Gilday
Tina Nielsen and Marysia McGilvray unveil the Nexwlélexwm sign at a the blessing ceremony. Coral Louie, who made the sign watches from the right while Alroy “Bucky” Baker K’etximtn, speaker for the Squamish Nation, is on the left.
Photo by Len Gilday

For english-speaking people, the pronunciation of Nexwlélexwm looks difficult at first. Khelsilem teaches the language and will make is easy for you to master the sounds quickly. Try his short tutorial.

Pronounce Bowen Island in the language of the Squamish Nation

There is a description about the ceremony to bless the new sign in an article by Pauline Le Bel in the Bowen Island Undercurrent: ‘Beginning of a healing journey’: Nexwlélexwm sign blessing. Pauline also wrote about the background to the carving of this sign, Bowen’s original name.

Edited on 2020 Oct 28 to add a short video of the event:

1 Response to “Bowen Island – Nexwlélexwm”


  1. 1 plebel July 18, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks Robert for letting people know we live on Nexwlélexwm. The t-shirt is next!


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