7mesh isn’t a real word. But it was inspired by a very important one.
Over the last century anthropologists have worked alongside members of the Squamish Nation to document their spoken language. The work of the BC Native Language Project developed the writing system used today, resulting in our town being known as Squamish / Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh. Inspired by this important collaboration, we adopted our name as a show of respect to the People that have lived here for countless generations, and to exemplify our goal of contributing to progress on indigenous issues in our country.
Why is progress needed? The uncomfortable truth is that Canada's history of colonialism and treatment of Indigenous Peoples is dark, and needs to be recognized. As just one example, BC is home to 34 distinct indigenous languages, all of which are endangered. These languages were severely impacted over many decades by government policies designed to eliminate First Nations’ cultures completely.
At 7mesh we are on a learning journey, and we encourage all Canadians to familiarize themselves with the difficult parts of our history, including residential schools and the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Let’s celebrate positive steps - but as settler-descendants and aspiring allies, let’s also recognize we have a long, long way to go.
Several organizations champion the revitalization of First Nations language and culture in Canada. Our strongest partnership is with the Indigenous Youth Mountain Bike Program, see more about the great work they do below. 7mesh has also contributed to:
Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh Lil̓wat7úl Cultural Centre
First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation
New Hope Community Bikes
Indian Residential School Survivors Society