A log and future totem pole was delivered to Timberline Secondary on May 31 through a combined community effort.
The project, funded by the SD72 Indigenous Education Advisory Council’s Role Model, Elder, and Artist Grant, is set to begin immediately and be completed by October.
The project is being done in partnership with the Homalco Nation, who donated the big log.
Carver Jesse Recalma will be undertaking the project and will be carving a totem pole that tells the Homalco creation story.
Ronnie Billows, Aboriginal Support Worker at Timberline said, “This is a project years in the making, and I am so grateful to everyone involved for their efforts in making it all come together.”
Delivery of the log was coordinated with many local businesses. All delivery was donated including the truck and crane delivery from Harold Sewid and Ol’Sewid’E Trucking with help from employees Sheldon Powell and George Lewis-Drake. Jason Bailey at Van Island Plastic Factory Ltd. donated use of the heavy duty dollies needed to move the log into the school. SD72 maintenance employees provided manpower and use of a mobile hoist to unload the log inside the school courtyard. Finally, the log was placed on custom dunnage built by the students in teacher Paul Klein’s woodwork class.
The future totem pole is part of a greater effort to bring Indigenous culture and ways of knowing into the schools and curriculum.
“It is so inspiring to see schools such as Timberline so engaged in ensuring Indigenous culture, language, history and heritage are part of their buildings and instruction,” said Greg Johnson, District Principal of Indigenous Education.
Students and staff will have the pleasure of watching this creation take place before their eyes, as the totem pole is carved just outside the cafeteria in the main courtyard.
Vice-Principal Joanna Broadbent said, “This is an auspicious and important day in the history of Timberline Secondary.”