Tilikum Crossing Bridge is a amazing beacon for Native people. The return of native names to the public consciousness is invaluable to all people of the region. For so long Native presence within their own lands was ignored and invisible on the landscape. Much of the land was renamed with American, British, French or Spanish names, and so many of the original native names were forgotten for 160 years.
I was involved with the naming of the new Portland bridge this past year. I was invited onto the committee and it was a very interesting process. when we got down to the final names Tilicum was chosen over all others. This was a suggestion from many Portlanders and the suggestion of the tribe. But when we deliberated the spelling there was some variation. We could have spelled it Tilixem (with X being another character sounding like the clearing of your throat, and the “e” being actually upside down and a schwa symbol) as well as this is how it … Continue reading Tilikum, Tilicum, or Tilix[schwa]m