Elder Elmer George

Talking stick tradition comes to B.C. legislature [with video]

Totem symbolizes Coast Salish tradition of respectful listening, with little effect on ill-tempered debate in Victoria

Aboriginal elders brought a Coast Salish talking stick into the B.C. legislature this week, in a solemn ceremony that had little lasting effect on the heckling and interruptions of political debate in Victoria.

A replica of the totem pole on the grounds of Government House, the ornate stick represents the right to speak and receive a respectful hearing in aboriginal tradition. It was carved by Songhees artist James Delorme and presented to former Lieutenant Governor Steven Point in 2011 at a ceremony to mark the official naming of the Salish Sea.

Current Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon was on hand May 11 to present the stick to B.C. legislature Speaker Linda Reid, with a ceremonial prayer in the SENCOTEN language by elders Elmer George and Mary Anne Thomas.

“We present it to everybody this House but also to everybody that may come through these doors in the future,” said Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation.

Reid said in a statement the talking stick will remain in the legislature until the next election in May 2017.

After the ceremony, Reid continued her struggle to maintain order in the rancourous debate of question period, which has declined more frequently into shouting matches as the next election approaches.

 

Just Posted

Ladysmith council dropping paper agenda packages

Town expects to save 50,000 sheets of paper a year by using tablets

EDITORIAL: Housing is one of our basic needs

We all need food, clothing and shelter first

First Nations leader to try for NDP nomination in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, announces intentions

CVRD sets tax increase for 2019 at 7.27%

New water and housing functions make up 3.52 % of increase

Premier makes surprise visit to Ladysmith Art Gallery

John Horgan does an informal meet and greet with Ladysmith arts and community leaders

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

ICBC shifts to Alberta model, with higher rates, private insurers say

B.C. public insurance includes funding enforcement, driver licensing

Most Read