300-year-old red cedar totem unveiled in downtown Victoria

Tom and Perry LaFortune’s carved piece now stands vigil over the corner of Pandora and Blanshard

The Ministry of Health and Mental health is now home for a new 25-foot tall totem pole.

Featuring a raven, owl, frog and woman and themed Crossing Cultures and Healing, the totem is carved from a 300-year-old red cedar featuring a carved rope connecting it from top to bottom.

“The rope symbolically goes through the whole pole the raven is holding it at the top and the the owl has it ins class and the mother has it as well,” said carver Tom LaFortune. “It’s important to tell this story because it is about the perseverance of our people.”

ALSO SEE: VIDEO of Sooke artist receiving Order of B.C. award

The Tom and Perry LaFortune’s carved piece now stands vigil over the corner of Pandora Ave. and Blanshard St. next to the Ministry of Health and Mental Health building on 1515 Blanshard.

“We recognize that indigenous languages, culture and ceremonies and heritage are integral to the health of indigenous people and enrich all of our lives,” said Minister Adrian Dix.

ALSO SEE: Carving history: Royal BC Museum launches new totem project



arnold.lim@blackpress.ca

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