Nsyilxcn Street Signs

Supporting the revitalization of Nsyilxcn, the language of the Syilx Okanagan Nation, on whose territory UBC’s Okanagan campus is located.


Nsyilxcn translations of the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus streets were first added to the existing campus street signs in March of 2010. The design of the translations closely resembled the conventional UBC street signs with classic white lettering on a blue background.

In 2019, UBC Okanagan officially declared the campus’ Truth and Reconciliation commitments, one of which is to “develop and implement activities that support the revitalization of language fluency, including through initiatives such as …[s]ignage and wayfinding on campus which represents Okanagan language and culture.”

In 2020, the campus began an update of the street signs to make them more informative for the campus community and to foster understanding and learning of the Nsyilxcn language. The updated Nsyilxcn street signs were created in partnership with the En’owkin Centre and the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA). The new signs were installed in early 2022.

Translations: The Nsyilxcn translations are interpretations of the meaning or concepts communicated by the English street names. These updated translations were developed by the En’owkin Centre’s language keepers and speakers.

Design: The colour used on the street signs was chosen by the ONA and is inspired by the blue-green tones of Kalamalka Lake (“Kalamalka Blue”). The ONA’s logo illustrating the bear and salmon can be seen behind the Nsyilxcn translations.

Nsyilxcn Street Signs Map

The updated street signs are installed at eleven locations on the Okanagan campus. We encourage you to walk around the UBC Okanagan campus to view the Nsyilxcn street signs and learn more. Download the map

Nsyilxcn street signs map

Learn about the Nsyilxcn Street Signs

Explore the chosen meanings for each sign.

Alumni Avenue street sign

np̕aƛ̕mqsts iʔ scmaʔmayaʔs was chosen for Alumni Avenue as it means “graduated with higher learning”

Athletics Court street sign

snk̕ʷak̕ʷulstn was chosen for Athletics Court as it means “a place of physical training”

Discovery Avenue street sign

sk̕әɬpax̌әx̌num̕t was chosen for Discovery Avenue as it means “discovery of a new idea”

Diversity Place street sign

cnt̕uxʷliws was chosen for Diversity Place as it means “variations within a group”

International Mews street sign

xәƛ̕pulaxʷ iʔ cwilx was chosen for International Mews as it means “nations throughout the land”

Knowledge lane street sign

aʔ cmystim was chosen for Knowledge Lane as it means “what we know through fact”

Lower Residence Lane street sign

sniliʔtn was chosen for Lower Residence Lane and Upper Residence Place as it means “a place where people stay”

Research Road street sign

sƛ̓aʔƛ̓ʔam tә spax̌ax̌t was chosen for Research Road as it means “searching for knowledge”

Transit Way street sign

naʔuʔkʷmn iʔ sxʷaʔxʷuytns was chosen for Transit Way as it means “the transportation path”

University Way street sign

nwist snmaʔmayaʔtn was chosen for University Way as it means “higher learning place”

Upper Campus Way street sign

xwiɬ k̕әl tqәltkusms was chosen for Upper Campus Way as it means “path to the upper place”

sniliʔtn was chosen for Lower Residence Lane and Upper Residence Place as it means “a place where people stay”


Campus Planning is grateful for the support from the Syilx community in the street signs project and for the guidance of the Okanagan Nation Alliance and En’owkin Centre, including Harron Hall, Tracey Kim Bonneau, and Maria Baptiste.

Thank you to Dr. Jeanette Armstrong; Adrienne Vedan, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor on Indigenous Affairs; Ian Cull, former Senior Advisor to the DVC & Principal on Indigenous Affairs; UBC Construction Management Office; and UBC Brand and Marketing.

We acknowledge that the UBC Okanagan campus resides in the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation.