HAVE YOU TRIED OUT the new Xget’tem’ Trail? That’s the name of the multi-use paved path from Sahali to the bottom of Peterson Creek Park. It means Deep Valley in Sepwépemc. At the official opening of the trail this week, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc councillor Jeanette Jules explained how to pronounce it.
You’re supposed to begin with an X but it’s more like a gargling sound in the back of your throat — or a noise akin to having something stuck in there that you want to get rid of — and finish up with a word that sounds like “Hottem.”
You may wonder why the City, in consultation with TteS, would choose an unpronounceable name, especially one that bears no obvious resemblance to the spelling, for a $3.7 million amenity paid for with City tax dollars.
Especially since it will most likely continue to be known as the “Peterson Creek Pathway.” Some have already defiantly declared they’ll continue to call it that.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.