At the March 30, 2023 school board meeting, the BISD’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to change the name of Captain Charles Wilkes Elementary to x̌alilc (Halilts) Elementary.
The rationale given in support of naming the school x̌alilc (Halilts) was:
* The Renaming Committee was given formal permission for the use of this name through a unanimous vote resolution by the Suquamish Tribal Council as well as the tribe’s culture co-op committee.
* x̌alilc (Halilts) meaning marked edge or rock in Lushootseed, is an important petroglyph belonging to the Suquamish Tribe located on Agate Point (northern end of Bainbridge Island).
* Although the exact date of the petroglyph’s origin is unknown, Dan Leen, an archaeologist specializing in Northwest Coast petroglyphs, suggests the designs are more than 1,600 years old.
* Each Spring, when the Suquamish canoes are awakened in ceremony, the first stop by the canoe pullers is x̌alilc (Halilts) to pay respect to this ancestral marker.
* It is known that some petroglyphs have served as a welcome sign to visitors in indigenous territories. x̌alilc (Halilts) may have been such a welcome and to signal that you are entering the boundaries of the dxʷsəq’ʷəb village, later the site of Old Man House, home of Chief Seattle.
This is how the word x̌alilc is pronounced: https://soundcloud.com/user-635423857/marked-rock-xalilc