Indigenous signage and art at SeaBus terminals welcome riders

Indigenous signage and art at SeaBus terminals welcome riders

The entrance canopy at the Lonsdale Quay terminal displaying Indigenous art and language

Indigenous art and accompanying signage can now be seen at TransLink’s SeaBus terminals at Waterfront Station and Lonsdale Quay.

The installation samples the artwork aboard the Burrard Chinook SeaBus, which launched in July 2021.

The new signage supports Indigenous language revitalization and preservation.

The languages create awareness of the deep connections to the land and waters by the ancestors and current Indigenous community members of the shared and unceded territories of xʷməθkʷəyə̓m (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation).

The art and message for the Squamish Nation in the foreground and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in the background.

The two languages on display are:

  • hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (spoken by, but not limited to, xʷməθkʷəyə̓m and səlilwətaɬ)
  • Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (Squamish language)

Indigenous artists ʔəy̓xʷatəna:t Kelly Cannell, Siobhan Joseph, and qʷənat Angela George created the art.

“I’m honored to have been a part of this project with two amazing female Indigenous artists, and to represent Squamish Nation with my art on the unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəyə̓m (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations,” says Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw artist Siobhan Joseph.

The artwork is a tribute to the Chinook salmon, which has played an iconic role in life on the West Coast for generations and is a critical part of the ecosystem in Burrard Inlet and the Pacific Ocean.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to create custom artwork that welcomes all people into the region now called Vancouver and Burrard Inlet,” says səlilwətaɬ artist qʷənat Angela George. “The designs of this art hold ancestral knowledge and reflect the vibrant history and beauty of our lands and waters.”

The art and message from Musqueam.

New Indigenous art and signage locations:

  • Lonsdale Quay SeaBus terminal entrance
    • The language on the left of the canopy is hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ and is a joint message developed by xʷməθkʷəyə̓m and səlilwətaɬ, which translates to “Welcome to our lands and waters”
    • The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim message on the right was provided by Sḵwxw̱ú7mesh Úxwumixw and translates to “Welcome”
  • Above the SkyWalk doors at Waterfront Station
  • Along the windows near the SeaBus terminal escalators at Waterfront Station

The art above the doors to the escalators to the SeaBus terminal at Waterfront Station

“It is an incredible opportunity to have my artwork become part of visitors’ and residents’ journeys as they arrive and depart the SeaBus terminals,” explains xʷməθkʷəyə̓m artist ʔəy̓xʷatəna:t Kelly Cannell. “Bringing awareness to my culture, as well as our environmental surroundings, are the most important aspects of my work.”

Through engagement with local Indigenous Nations, TransLink’s Transport 2050 — regional transportation strategy — outlines the importance of key priorities, such as building lasting and trusting relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

TransLink is committed to advancing reconciliation by including Indigenous perspectives, cultures, and languages throughout its transit networks.

These new installations commemorate Indigenous Nations and join other Indigenous art throughout the transit system.