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  • Check here for the latest updates on the VPL / YWCA Project
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  • Track our progress each month with updated site photos!
  • March 2015:
    Below grade work continues on site. And the crane arrives!


January 2015

The official groundbreaking for the VPL nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona branch library and YWCA Cause We Care House project was held Monday, January 19, 2015 – marking a milestone for the facility that Mayor Gregor Robertson says has been “a long time coming”. The groundbreaking was a huge success and a Coast Salish brushing-off ceremony led by Chief Ian Campbell preceded the event.

For more detailed media coverage, please visit:

VPL YWCA Groundbreaking

20150119 - Groundbreaking - 0013

20150119 - Groundbreaking

VPL YWCA Groundbreaking


September 2014


nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona branch

The Vancouver Public Library announced the name of the newest branch – nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona branch, which encompasses the idea of ‘we are one’ in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Musqueam) language. It’s the first major civic building in Vancouver to have an official aboriginal name.

Click here to read the full press release.

Pronunciation guide for nə́c̓aʔmat ct

There are a large number of sounds in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ that aren’t in English. To represent them accurately, the standardized symbols of the North American Phonetic Alphabet (NAPA) are used.

The following is a pronunciation guide to facilitate your engagement with the words

nə́c̓aʔmat ct
We are one

The first syllable nə́c̓ is pronounced in a way that is very similar to the English word nuts

The unstressed ʔa is identical to the underlined vowel in but

The “a” in the last syllable is the same as the underlined vowel in father

-“mat” also rhymes with the name Mott as in Mott’s Clamato juice

The two letters at the end sound like “tst”

Pronunciation guide for hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓

hən̓q̓ rhymes with the English word hunk* but the q̓ is pronounced a bit farther down the throat than the k
əm is like the sound you might make when you’re thinking about something and you say “uhm”
i is identical to the underlined vowel in pizza
n̓əm̓ sounds very much like the word numb

* letters with corresponding apostrophes are glottalized

December 2013

The Library Naming Project

In December 2013, VPL began asking Vancouverites to suggest a name for our newest branch at 720-730 East Hastings. We were delighted to receive more than 400 submissions via our print and online suggestions forms, and the Board will announce the branch’s new name by the summer.

For more information, see the December 2013 news release at:



More Information?

Arthur Mills, YWCA Metro Vancouver