Spectrum set to raise welcome pole

Master carver Doug LaFortune carving 10-foot-tall raven out of 600-year-old red cedar

Tsawout band member Doug LaFortune uses an elbow axe to carve a raven totem pole at Spectrum Community School

Spectrum Community School is set to raise a Coast Salish welcoming pole, the culmination of master carver Doug LaFortune’s residency over the past few weeks in the school.

The prolific artist, who resides at the Tsawout First Nations, is carving a 10-foot-tall raven into red cedar that’s between 600 and 700 years old. It will greet all comers to Spectrum once the school raises it on Friday.

“It’s a contemporary, modern raven, not what we would have traditionally carved,” LaFortune told a class of Spectrum students. “I wanted people to see right away that it is a raven.”

The raven in local Salish culture is known as a trickster. It won’t be painted, though traditionally some poles were.

“The colour of this wood is too beautiful and it has great lines,” said the master carver.

LaFortune’s wife Cathy, who also produces art, shared a collection of traditional artefacts with Eagleview elementary and Spectrum students. The collection included cleaned, dried-out clam shells that were glued shut (traditionally with the pitch from trees) with pebbles inside.

“These acted as rattles for our songs and for our ceremonies,” she told an Eagleview class.

Doug LaFortune is also expecting to raise a welcoming pole and sign for the community of Saanichton this summer.

 

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church hosts open house, spring cemetery clean up

Learn more about the region’s oldest cemetery May 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Three arrested in Sooke drug bust

RCMP targeted traffickers in fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine

Standalone Beach Drive plum tree gets love

Ivy pulled off plum tree next to Queens’ Park

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Most Read