The Town of Sidney supports plans to rename Reay Creek to KELSET.
At Monday’s council meeting (June 14), councilors unanimously approved the proposed name change – initiated by the B.C. geographic names office – which affects the creek but not the surrounding park. That said, a recent survey conducted by the municipality as part of Reay Creek Park Improvement Plans found that over 70% of respondents were in favor of renaming the park to match the new name of the creek.
KELSET is the SENCOTEN name of the cove and means ‘to bail out’ in its literal English translation.
According to a letter from BC Geographical Names to Sidney, the people of Wsanec traveling from the outer islands to the Saanich Peninsula would often be pushed to KELSET and would have to refloat their canoes.
In a report to council, staff said existing signage at Reay Creek should be replaced, which may coincide with future park improvements. Staff said any future signage could include references to brothers William and Charles Reay, who settled in the area in 1875.
Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith said he and Chief Executive Officer Randy Humble had had preliminary discussions with the WANEC Board of Directors regarding interpretive signage describing the ecological significance of the area to local First Nations, as well as ways to prevent incidents like the recent bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish.
According to Con. Peter Wainwright, Tulista Park and Tsehum Harbor are other local landmarks using the traditional names of SENCOTEN.
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Indigenous Peoples Sidney