Monday, June 09, 2008


The totem poles at Stanley Park are one of the most photographed tourist attractions in British Columbia. The thing about these poles is that, though truly Native, they are not indigenous to this part of BC. Vancouver is Coast Salish territory but these poles are northern coastal poles made by the Kwakwaka'wakw, Haida and Nisga'a,

This morning, the Coast Salish people finally got some sweet representation with the unveiling of three incredible, massive gate-ways carved by Coast Salish carver, Susan Point (you may have seen her work at the YVR airport but be sure to check out her body of's insanely beautiful!).

Kamala Todd, my wife, was the one who helped get this project going at the City of Vancouver, the City Parks Board and the Vancouver Public Arts through her Vancouver Storyscapes program two years ago. This morning my wife, along with Chiefs, elders, ceremonial singers and the deputy mayor, unveiled the three arches in Stanley Park (which I think should be renamed Salish Park).

Kamala said some wonderful words and then followed up with the unveiling countdown...

Male and female welcome figures: Facing Coal Harbour, the two figures
opposite each other on the inside of the upright poles welcome visitors
with the traditional Coast Salish greeting of raised, outstretched arms.

Salish dancer and killer whale: The portal facing north to Burrard Inlet
includes a thunderbird on top of a dancer holding a sea serpent rattle
on the outside of one pole and five killer whales on the inside of the other.

Grandparents and grandchildren: Facing towards the playing fields, the
figures include three female faces linked by an intertwined braid of hair
opposite six grandchildren on the inside of other pole.
The artist, Susan Point

Be sure to see the incredible steps taken to make these insanely amazing pieces of work here.


Anonymous said...


This is brilliant... Congrats Kamala on an amazing project. What a wonderful gift to the city of Vancouver.

Melanie said...

That's awesome!!! The gateways look amazing!!!! I can't stop exclaiming!!!! Congrats Kamala!!!!!

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