After months of planning, carving and fundraising, Sno’uyutth, will be unveiled Sunday (Nov. 22) at Oak Bay High School.
Beginning at 2 p.m., the 20-foot-high welcome pole will be dedicated in a public ceremony marking a commitment to a collaborative new relationship between community residents, the District of Oak Bay and Greater Victoria School District, and the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, whose traditional territory includes the municipality.
Carved from a 200-year-old red cedar log, the pole was designed by Songhees master carver Butch Dick, and carved by his son Clarence Dick.
Sno’uyutth – “spreading good energy” in the Lekwungen language – is carved front and back with symbols of the eagle, salmon, otter, camas, frog, heron and the Earth Mother – which all play important roles in Lekwungen culture.
The dedication ceremony, which involves chiefs and elders from the Songhees, Esquimalt and Cowichan Nations, includes drumming, a blessing of the pole, and the giving of gifts.
The pole recognizes the history, culture and traditions of the Songhees and Esquimalt people, promotes understanding between communities, and will serve as a powerful symbol of welcome and support to SD61’s aboriginal students.
The $90,000 project is a partnership between the Community Association of Oak Bay, the District of Oak Bay, the school district, and the carving team.