RBCM invites public to watch carving of totem pole as symbol of reconciliation
File photo: A 17-metre totem pole installed at the University of British Columbia is a permanent reminder of the strength and resilience of the countless children victimized by the residential school system.
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, July 3, 2018 5:13PM PDT
VICTORIA - The Royal BC Museum in Victoria is teaming up with the Health Ministry to launch a pole carving program aimed at symbolizing reconciliation and healing.
The museum says the project sponsored by TimberWest involves two brothers who will roughly carve out the general shape of the pole before it's brought to the museum's outdoor plaza in mid-July.
It says in a release that artists Tom and Perry LaFortune, members of the Tsawout First Nation, will be at the museum until early October, carving the half-metre piece of timber into a finished totem pole.
The brothers and ministry staff selected “crossing cultures and healing” as the theme of the pole that the ministry will raise at its Victoria headquarters.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says a desire to provide a culturally safe, respectful space for healing is at the heart of the ministry's programs and services.
Museum CEO Prof. Jack Lohman says it's a gift to have such close access to Indigenous artists at work on a complex project that the public is invited to watch unfold as the brothers discuss their craft.