VIDEO: Ladysmith carver set to transform majestic old-growth cedar

Members of the Youth Engagement Program climb up onto the huge log to join carver Luke Marston in celebrating the arrival of the cedar for their canoe project. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Spotting his name stapled to the 15,000 pound log, carver Luke Marston takes a quick selfie with his phone. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Luke Marston, who will direct the transformation of the huge log into a traditional ocean-going canoe for use by the Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem Canoe family, Cowichan children, youth, and families. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Cowichan Tribes councillor and elder Albie Charlie welcomes everyone, especially the young people at the event, saying that it’s heart-warming to see them reconnecting with their culture. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Carver Luke Marston (in blue hoodie) checks with the crew about offloading the log for his upcoming canoe project. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Up goes $15,000 pounds of cedar log, off the truck and on its way to the carving shop of the Quw’utsun Cultural Centre on Thursday morning, April 4. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Ladysmith carver Luke Marston was on the scene early on the morning of Thursday, April 4 at the Quw’utsun Cultural Centre’s carving shed.

It was a big day for him and members of Lalum’utul Smun’eem Child and Family Services and the Youth Engagement Program as one of the last old-growth western red cedar trees to be harvested on Vancouver Island was scheduled to arrive at the centre in Duncan that morning.

Under the direction of Marston, a Coast Salish carver and member of the Stz’uminus First Nation, the 15,000-pound log will be transformed into a traditional ocean going canoe for use by the Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem Canoe Family, Cowichan children, youth, and families.

TimberWest donated the massive log for the project.

After the log was finally off-loaded and on rollers on the ground, Cowichan councillor and elder Albie Charlie welcomed everyone to the ceremony, expressed his delight in seeing young people reconnecting with their roots, and thanked Marston for taking on the project.

Marston said it was an important part of First Nations culture to remember that no one owns the skills they use: they are passed on from one generation to the next so the culture survives into the future.

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