Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 marked a significant day for SD64 and the Gulf Islands. After 3 years, thousands of hands, and hundreds of hours carving together, our SD64 Coast Salish Welcome Figure was raised!
On March 6th the Welcome Figure was unveiled in front of hundreds of students, staff, families and community members in a ceremony full of rich protocols that honoured the magnitude of the event. All who were there were witness and part of the monumental day. People were deeply moved as they listened respectfully to Cowichan Hul’qumi’num speaking Elder Fred George as he spoke to the teachings and significance of the Welcome Figure.
For the past 3 years, students, staff, families and community members from around the Gulf Islands have had the opportunity to join in and carve the Welcome Figure alongside the talented Salish Interior artist Quentin Harris. This is the first Welcome Figure in our district and proudly stands beside Rainbow Road between GISS, SIMS and SSE.
One Fernwood student, when asked about the ceremony said:
“I knew what we were seeing was something pretty important. I didn’t completely understand all of it but I knew it was big. I felt a
lotrespect and pride as I watched. I am grateful I was there and that we all helped make the pole together.”
Story: Shannon Johnston
Photos: John Cameron