sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ JAMES BAY BRANCH
- Special areas reserved for kids and teens
- Public computers
- Mobile charging stations
- Bookable community room and study rooms
- Touchdown workstation
In addition to naming the branch, City Council also named the two meeting rooms: the Dr. Elmer Seniemten George M.S.M. Community Room (pronounced Sen-eem-ten) and the Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Study Room (pronounced Wis-ter).
About Dr. Elmer Seniemten George
Dr. Elmer Seniemten George is a Songhees Elder, who is one of the few remaining fluent speakers of Lekwungen, a dialect of the Northern Straits Salish Peoples. He stewards the survival not only of the language, but also of the traditional teachings and culture embedded in the words. In 2016, Elder Elmer Seniemten George received an honorary degree from Royal Roads University. In 2017, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) from the Governor General of Canada for his work with Elder John Elliott in translating the Douglas Treaties of the mid-1850s into the SENĆOŦEN First Nations languages. This work has shed light on the lack of understanding that existed when the treaties were first signed and has provided a foundation for reconciliation. The Songhees and Esquimalt Nations submitted Dr. Elmer Seniemten George’s name for consideration in the City of Victoria’s Name That Library campaign.
About Mifflin Wistar Gibbs
Mifflin Wistar Gibbs was a James Bay resident and local merchant who served as a Victoria City Councillor from 1866 to 1869. In 2016, the City of Victoria declared November 19 “Mifflin Wistar Gibbs Day” in honour of Gibbs becoming the first black person elected to public office in British Columbia the same day in 1866. The BC Black History Awareness Society and members of the community submitted his name for consideration in the City of Victoria’s Name That Library campaign.