Esquimalt Nation sign panelThe District of Saanich and Town of View Royal replaced the old wooden Craigflower Bridge across the Gorge Waterway with a brand new bridge that opened in July 2014. GWI worked with these municipal partners and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations to create a large sign using the basic design of the existing GWI interpretive signs along the waterway. This dramatic three-panel sign highlights the deep cultural and spiritual roots of the Lkwungen-speaking people, and the significance of the Gorge Waterway and surrounding lands within their traditional territory. It also symbolizes a bridge between cultures and generations, and celebrates the foundation and legacy of the living Lkwungen culture left to the Songhees and Esquimalt people by their ancestors and elders. Esquimalt Nation artist Darlene Gait and Songhees artist and master carver Butch Dick worked together to create artwork and graphic layout for the three panels.

A school of herring is depicted along the bottom of the First Nations sign panels and also imbedded in the concrete beneath the sign, acknowledging the importance of this species in the local marine ecosystem. Lkwungen land means “land of the smoked herring”.

Underwater Bounty signThree smaller signs were also installed as part of the bridge project. These were all created as part of a series of signs designed by the GWI focusing on the natural, historical and cultural features of this beautiful waterway. One sign featuring the early settler and farming history now stands on the View Royal side of the bridge. The other two are attached to the bridge railings, and highlight the bird life and underwater ecosystems of the waterway.

View all the graphics on the First Nations sign:

Lkwungen Peoples sign panel
First Nations interpretive sign