Etymology of the “Salish Sea”

During the Coast Salish plenary, Bert Webber described the process by which our marine ecosystem has gained a new (and much better) name.

Living in Bellingham, it became apparent that this place on both sides of the U.S./Canada border shares a language-history.  In 1980’s Bert submitted the place-name “Salish Sea” to a sub-program of the WA Dept. of Natural Resources, without much of a positive response.  Groups on Saltspring and San Juan Islands then picked up the idea and pushed forward on the work of renaming.  Finally the Coast Salish people were looking for more shared identity and through their gatherings developed a need for a place-name as they committed to enhanced, collaborative stewardship of the inland sea.  They agreed the name was good and the re-naming was complete.

But, as usual, the Province of BC and State of WA have lagged behind a bit…  Forms have been filled out and a May 15 meeting will decide what to do next.   Then we go to the Federal level.  And then a joint International body…

Scott thot: It sure would be nice if we could now rename this ungainly conference.  Who’s attending the 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference?  There, I said it (and it was much easier).

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