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

Chemainus Thrift Shop undergoing renovations to improve efficiency

Customers won’t see more room for goods, but office space and storage an important focus

Volunteers at the ready for a Crofton clean-up

Crofton Community in Bloom spearheading the project Saturday

North Cowichan looks to keep tax increase below 3%

Finance team asked to find ways to drop increase to 2.95%

Ladysmith mayor considered running federally, decided against it

Aaron Stone filed papers with Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP to be vetted as a candidate

Roundabout plans at River Road in Chemainus moving forward

Land issues still being resolved before details revealed to the public

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

Study: Why Canadian police should have a dedicated animal cruelty unit

People view fighting animal cruelty as a public responsibility

Convicted pedophile from B.C. raises fears after move to Ontario

Police have issued a warning about Madilyn Harks in Brampton

Mystery plane wakes up B.C. residents

An aircraft circled Langley City over the weekend after midnight for about an hour

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

Island Health announces funding for 52 projects on Island

$750,000 will go to fund these projects

UPDATED: IHIT investigating fatal crash in Surrey

Three people dead, investigators expected to be at scene ‘for significant amount of time’

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read