Sally Brown brushes the Gal'tam with hemlock.

Back in the paddle

Canoe rededicated after local artist takes up stalled project.

PORT HARDY—A project fifteen years in the making came to fruition last week as School District 85 staff and students were joined by community members for the rededication of a canoe.

Around 300 people attended the event, which comprised a brief history of the project, songs, a blessing ceremony and a feast to celebrate the relaunch.

The project was begun in 1997 by a group of artists and students, and the then-unfinished vessel took to the water for the first time when it was loaned to the Wuikinuxv people of Rivers Inlet to attend the Tribal Journey to Victoria.

The project later fell by the wayside until local artist and canoe builder Mervyn Child volunteered to step in.

Child, who took the lead in overseeing the complete overhaul of the vessel, was presented with a drum and drum bag at the event as thanks for his work. He was assisted on the project by renowned artist and carver Calvin Hunt as well as family, community members and former PHSS alumni.

The rededication ceremony saw the 52-foot Gal’tam — Long Face — blessed with eagle down and hemlock branches before taking students and SD85 staff on voyages around the bay. Fittingly, Child, who guided the project to completion, was helmsman for the voyages.

Accompanying the Gal’tam were two other examples of Child/Hunt carved canoes — the Kwakiutl style U’gwamalis and the Dzawana Upsup, a Nuu-chah-nulth style canoe — allowing all participants the chance to get on the water.

The event was introduced by SD85 District Principal of First Nations Programs Kaleb Child, who explained that the Gal’tam will become an integral learning tool across the District in coming years, and will play a key role in the Shared Understandings of the Kwak’wala-speaking Peoples course launching in the next school year.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island female minor hockey jamboree a big success story

“Success is measured by the smiles on the players’ faces, not by the scoreboard.”

FOLLOW-UP: Shelley Downey speaks on her Conservative candidacy

“I anticipate requesting a leave of absence from Port McNeill council,” Downey said.

B.C. to move salmon farms out of coastal migration route

Broughton Archipelago plan set to start in spring of 2019

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

Some types of cauliflower, lettuce recalled over E. coli fears

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced recall because of possible contamination.

Sea King helicopters make formal retirement flight Monday

Monday flight pattern includes Duncan, Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum

Ryan Reynolds to narrate movie about B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor known for Deadpool movies will voice film to be released Feb. 15, 2019

Airline passengers could get up to $2,400 for delays, damaged bags: Canadian agency

Canadian Transportation Agency is releasing draft regulations for public feedback

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Canadians spent almost $64,000 on goods and services in 2017

Households in B.C. each spent $71,001 with housing costs contributing to higher average

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Most Read