New Salish Name for Canada Island in Riverfront Park

snxw mene' Translates to Salmon People

Fianna Dickson, 509.625.6297

Friday, March 10, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

The Park Board selected a new name for the former Canada Island in Riverfront Park at their monthly meeting last night. The new Salish name is snxw mene' (sin-HOO-men-huh), translated to Salmon People.

The name was one of two recommended by the Spokane Tribe, their first choice. It was also the name that received nearly 60% of votes in a public pole. The second option was nkwn?ntew?s (n-coo-en-tehws), which means a land that causes a fork in the river.

The Park Board voted unanimously in selecting the new name.

New signs will be developed with the Spokane Tribe, and will include an audio function where visitors can hear the Salish pronunciation.


Last year, as part of the redevelopment of Riverfront Park, the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation department began a formal collaboration with the Spokane Tribe to highlight the sacred connection between the island and the tribe, with the goal of ensuring that all people who visit the island in the years to come will know and appreciate its strong native history.

As part of the collaboration, the Spokane Tribe will have a role in working with the Park Board and City of Spokane Parks and Recreation to make decisions around naming, activities, signage and public artwork on the island.

During the Gathering of the Falls Pow Wow in August 2016, a ceremony was held on the island to announce the partnership and renaming. The ceremony included the Consul General of Canada from Seattle, James Hill, who attended to share the Canadian government’s voice of support, along with Mayor Condon, elected officials and members of the Park Board and Spokane Tribe.

The island is formerly known as Canada, Cannon, and Crystal Island.

Redevelopment details will continue to be updated at