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Sechelt Nation, guests gather for St. Mary's renaming ceremony

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Hundreds crowded the Sechelt First Nation longhouse Saturday for a ceremony to give St. Mary’s Hospital a new name.

The province recently approved the name: “Sechelt/Shishahl Hospital”. It acknowledges the Sechelt Nation’s donation of the land in the 60s.

The land was also once the site of a residential school, and Chief Calvin Craigan says the ceremony was an important final step in its transition from a place of suffering to a place of healing.

Craigan says he’s glad to see most of the community also supports the change, and he adds that with practise, the traditional pronounciation comes easily.

Some technical and scheduling hitches mean a totem raising ceremony and Vancouver Coastal Health event to mark the name change will have to wait. VCH says they hope to set a date soon.

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