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Stop signs featuring Secwépemc would not meet standards

Stop signs featuring the Secwépemc language can be found around the Thompson Rivers University campus.
January 19, 2015 - 2:41 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Secwépemc language is featured around the Thompson Rivers University campus but drivers will not likely see the word on city stop signs in the near future.

In July, city council enquired about adding ‘estil,’ the Secwépemc word for stop, to appropriate signs within Kamloops. After reviewing the regulations and standards for both the province and Canada, city staff now says adding an additional language to the traffic control devices is too risky.

"Municipalities do not have the authority to design traffic control devices and, further, any authority that municipalities do have in respect of traffic control cannot be exercised in a way that is inconsistent with the (Motor Vehicle Act,)” was the legal opinion obtained by staff.

According to the Act, the only word permitted on the sign is ‘stop’ and both the federal and provincial standards recommend marking be in English only, using the English alphabet.

The potential confusion to motorists is considered too much of a risk, staff says in a report to council, adding they do not believe an additional language should be added even if it was not contrary to regulations.

The university installed more than 30 stop signs featuring both ‘stop’ and ‘estil’ on the campus in 2010. The signs are considered a highly visual homage to the Secwépemc culture but the campus also features a lot of art and ceremony inspired by local First Nations.

“The signs are a visual gesture of respect for Secwepemc language and culture and a gesture that Aboriginal people are welcome on campus,” TRU Aboriginal Communications and Projects Coordinator Joanne Brown said at the time.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jennifer Stahn at jstahn@infonews.ca or call 250-819-3723. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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