Good energy greets Oak Bay High visitors

Grassroots initiative comes to fruition with pole unveiling

Oak Bay High principal Dave Thomson (left) and Butch Dick

Oak Bay High principal Dave Thomson (left) and Butch Dick

Filled with traditional First Nation blessings, gifting of blankets and witnesses, the Community Association of Oak Bay’s grassroots initiative to raise a pole at Oak Bay High came to fruition with a ceremony that spread good energy Sunday.

“I’m honoured to be up here today, not only to share this time with my family but to embrace an opportunity for us to work together in the spirit of Sno’uyutth, creating that good energy, those good feelings that help us so we move forward not only as communities but as individuals,” said Bradley Dick, who led the ceremonies at the high school on Nov. 22.

“We have the good fortune of walking in two worlds … In our traditional ways it means in one hand I learn to walk with the respect and teachings of my ancestors and my family. And in this hand I learn to walk with my extended family and our family who have joined us on our traditional territories and to learn and to respect and take responsibility for that relationship as well.”

Drummers led the procession of local dignitaries, including Songhees and Esquimalt chiefs as well as Oak Bay’s mayor.

“Today is indeed a historic day,” said Mayor Nils Jensen. “It’s a moment of great importance to our community because it marks another step in our reconciliation with First Nations. It is another bright light that shines our path to the future, a path we now walk together.

“Our community acknowledges that there were dark times in the past and while we’ve come a long way from those dark days we still have a long way to go. The pole will serve to light the way and be a constant reminder of the richness of our First Nation heritage, a heritage we all celebrate with this pole.”

The pole, call Sno’uyutth, started as a dream of the CAOB in early 2014. They commissioned well-known Songhees carver Butch Dick to design it, and his son, talented carver Clarence Dick, led the carving over months to transform a cedar log into Sno’uyutth, which translates to “spreading good energy.”

It was officially unveiled during the ceremony, and now resides at Oak Bay High, where School District 61 takes ownership.

“I sincerely thank Butch Dick, a Songhees Nation elder, acclaimed artist and an education activist for his vision for Sno’uyutth, and his son Clarence Dick, a veteran Songhees carver who spent countless hours carving the Sno’uyutth pole,” said Edith Loring-Kuhanga, school board chair.

“Sno’uyutth means spreading good energy. Having the Lekwungen people spread good energy to all of our students and staff at Oak Bay High School and the visitors who come to this area is a reminder that this is a traditional territories of Lekwungen people.

“The pole will definitely help promote mutual respect between the students, staff and visitors.”

They CAOB, working with the Rotary Club of Oak Bay, fundraised about $90,000 for the project.

“On behalf of the Community of Association of Oak Bay I’d really like to thank you for being involved in this legacy-creating community event today,” said Kris Nichols, president of the CAOB.

“So many of you have stepped up to support the project by donating money, by participating in our fundraising events and by providing your expertise.”

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read