Powell River Regional District has a new identity. The provincial government has officially approved its new name: qathet Regional District.
The announcement was made on Thursday, July 5, by BC minister of municipal affairs and housing Selina Robinson.
In June 2017, Tla’amin Nation elders gifted the word “qathet” to the regional district. Pronounced “KA-thet,” it means “working together.”
In a media release, regional district chair Patrick Brabazon said the name “qathet” is a wonderful evolution for the district.
“We graciously accept this gift and give many thanks to the elders for the name itself and for their time, effort and research, truly an example of working together for the benefit of all," stated Brabazon.
The name change is a new beginning for the regional district, serving as a cultural link and forming an intergovernmental relationship with Tla’amin Nation, according to a statement released on new qathet Regional District letterhead.
The name will nurture an unmistakable identity for a vast and varied region of land, water, islands, resources, people and culture, according to the statement.
Following a public engagement process that ended in October 2017, the regional board made a formal request to Robinson for the name change. In November 2017 the board narrowly approved qathet in a four to three decision.
During the public meetings, Brabazon said costs associated with the name change would be negligible.
In making the announcement, Robinson offered congratulations to the newly named regional district and Tla’amin Nation for making the change in the spirit of respect and collaboration.
“We all have a role to play in reconciliation, to understand our shared history, and work together to build a better BC,” stated Robinson.
Brabazon extended thanks to Robinson, minister of indigenous relations and reconciliation Scott Fraser and Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons.
“Congratulations to the qathet Regional District on their new name,” said Simons. “I look forward to the ongoing and rewarding process of reconciliation, and appreciate all efforts being made towards that goal.”