Watts Point

Feature Type:Point - Land area jutting into a water feature; also used for a convex change in direction of a shoreline.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: E. side of Howe Sound, NW. of Britannia Beach (Post Office), New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°38'49''N, 123°13'30''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92G/11

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 4 May 1926 on Geological Survey map of Britannia Beach, as labelled on British Admiralty Chart 579, 1863 et seq, and on BC Lands' map 2B, 1914.

Source: BC place name cards, files, correspondence and/or research by BC Chief Geographer/Geographical Names Office.

Today's name for Watts Point is Xwelxwelítn (place of the white people). This was the location of the first contact between the Squamish Nation and Captain George Vancouver. A Squamish Elder sighted what appeared to be a large floating island offshore. The warriors approached with canoes in attack formation prepared for battle or trade. The found a large canoe with a dead tree on it manned by stéwakin - people so pale they appeared dead. Upon boarding, the warriors were greeted with a handshake which was a gesture of challenge known as keléxw to the Squamish. A Chiyák'mesh warrior realized that the foreigners were actually living beings when his opponent cried out in pain upon having his finger dislocated. (December 2011 from: Cultural Journey Sea-to-Sky Corridor website, Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations)

Source: included with note