Already a draw for visitors, a stonework celebrating and honouring a wolf and a man stands at Cattle Point in Oak Bay.
The community is invited to celebrate alongside Oak Bay and the Songhees Nation on Thursday.
The Soul of a Wolf sculpture, created by Saanich sculptor Ken Laforme, honours Staqeya, the male wolf that spent much of its life off the coast of Oak Bay on Songhees lands known as Chatham (Stsnaang) and Discovery (Skingeenis) islands.
Staqeya swam to the islands, collectively known as Tl’Ches, in 2012 and lived as a lone wolf for eight years before making the voyage back to Victoria in early 2020. Staqeya was captured in the James Bay neighbourhood and released in the wooded wilderness between Port Renfrew and Shawnigan Lake where he was shot and killed by a hunter.
The sculpture also pays homage to the late Songhees Nation Chief Robert Sam (1936-2012), a survivor of the Kamloops Residential School at Tk’emlps te Secwepemc.
“Stqeya represents a great leader for the nation, late Chief Robert Sam. Due to the arrival of the wolf to Tl’ches days after his passing, as a community, we felt as if this was our late chief returning to watch over and protect us,” Chief Ron Sam said. “Chief Sam led by example and fought for our people, with a focus to our future generations. This sculpture is more than an art piece, it represents the unwavering strength of a great chief. As said by Chief Robert Sam, ‘We’re laying down a foundation for the future, social, cultural, and economical being of our people.’”
Oak Bay along with the Songhees Nation honour the sculpture with a ceremony at Cattle Point on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. The public is welcome.