Place-making began with learning the traditional place name n̓kək̓m̓apl̓qs.
n̓kək̓m̓apl̓qs refers to the head of the little lake (Kalamalka). Note: nqmaplqs refers to the head of the larger Okanagan Lake (the main settlement area for the sqilx/syilx people of the Okanagan Indian Band). Learning about n̓kək̓m̓apl̓qs provided a new perspective on culture and local history, including some surprises and lessons that would benefit all of us as we enjoy the trail.
For thousands of years before a rail line was developed, the sqilxʷ/syilx evolved a deep relationship with this land, and language developed to reflect this deep relationship. n̓kək̓m̓apl̓qs was a place of winter dwellings and seasonal campsites, and part of the extensive area the sqilxʷ/syilx travelled for food, resources and kinship. Creation of the Km 0 gateway provides an opportunity to bring back native plants, and the sqilxʷ/syilx presence at n̓kək̓m̓apl̓qs.
The Km 0 plaza design was inspired by a sqilxʷ/syilx seasonal fishing campsite with teepees of woven tule mats. Interpretive signs will introduce some stories of the the land and people, and provide some lessons to benefit us all.