One of two long house poles is erected Thursday in the foyer at Ladysmith Secondary School as part of a nutsumaat syassys (working together as one) project. From left: aboriginal educator Moira Dolan

Longhouse poles symbols of welcoming connections

Project six years in the making anticipated to be completed next year

Rick StiebelThe Chronicle

The Nutsumaat Syaays project took another leap skyward with the erection of the second of four long house poles in the foyer at Ladysmith Secondary School.

Working Together as One is a fitting name for the work which has been in the making for six years, said Ladysmith Secondary School drama teacher Bill Taylor.

“It’s gratifying to see people working together on something like  this and this project symbolizes that,” Taylor noted. “It’s great to see some of the visuals becoming part of the school.”

The goal of Nutsumaat Syaays is to make the school a welcoming and supporting place for all students, he added.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunities this will provide for sharing future stores and learning methods,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s about trying to open our minds to a different way of knowing and being in the world.”

Coast Salish artist John Marston has been working on carving the poles for a year and expects the project will take another year to complete.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” Marston said. “I couldn’t have completed any of the work without the support of everyone involved in the project and the community. It’s a good example of working together. The most important part for me is that it will make lasting connections.”

Aboriginal educator Moira Dole said the long house poles are much more than an a theme of reconciliation or an arts project.

“It’s about bringing First Nations culture and knowledge into our schools and sharing that with all students,” she said. The eagle is very symbolic of rising up. They bring us all not just to higher level of learning and understanding, they bring us all together. They look absolutely amazing.”

Organizers have raised about 60 per cent of the $75,000 goal.

 

Just Posted

RCMP seek motorists allegedly racing on highway in Chemainus prior to bridge crash

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are searching for two motorists who were allegedly racing… Continue reading

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Ladysmith woman fundraises for sister, family left homeless by Chemainus fire

A Ladysmith woman is raising money for family members left homeless after… Continue reading

Ladysmith woman who jumped from ferry meets rescuers

A local artist who survived five hours in the frigid waters of… Continue reading

Stz’uminus artist John Marston helps carve Yos totem pole for Malahat Nation lands

Project involving collaboration between Marston, Moy Sutherland Jr. and Malahat Nation youth

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Want to be on map of ‘must-see’ Christmas lights from Ladysmith to Chemainus?

Created a holiday masterpiece on your front lawn ? Have a neighbour… Continue reading

Multiple-vehicle crash in Nanaimo shuts down section of highway

Emergency crews responded at about 2:50 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, to a four-vehicle collision

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Most Read