Fort Simpson now has a giant welcome sign to match its 17-metre tall giant teepee.
“It’s something our council has been wanting to add to our community for a number of years,” said Kevin Corrigan, the Village of Fort Simpson's assistant senior administrative officer.
Corrigan said Fort Simpson put out a tender for the work a few times with no results, so he stepped up to take the lead on getting the project done.
Inspired by Fort Simpson's record-holding tallest teepee – built by lumberjacks on the now-discontinued Timber Kings reality show in fall 2016 – Corrigan decided to reach out to the company that starred in the show. He asked Pioneer Log Homes, of BC, if they would be willing to build a sign structure to complement the teepee.
The Timber Kings were in.
“They built [the structure] in BC and then shipped it to Fort Simpson, and the Village staff put it up,” Corrigan explained. The same cedar logs used to build the teepee were used to make the sign structure.
The sign reads “Welcome to Łíídlįį Kûę,” followed by “Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories” in smaller letters.
The Village collaborated with Łíídlįį Kûę First Nation to come up with the wording for the sign. It was decided the traditional name of the village should be front and centre.
“I think everyone is delighted to have it up,” said Corrigan. “We did the unveiling on Tuesday and everyone was all smiles. I think it’s a great asset to the community.
“You can’t miss it coming into town."
The sign is next to the visitor centre. Corrigan expects it to prove a popular photo spot with tourists coming into town.
But the first people to get a photo with the sign? Mayor Sean Whelly and Łíídlįį Kûę Chief Gerry Antoine.