Healing totem to be carved at Royal B.C. Museum

The Royal B.C. Museum is teaming up with the Health Ministry to launch a pole-carving program aimed at symbolizing reconciliation and healing.

The museum said the project sponsored by TimberWest involves two brothers who will roughly carve out the general shape of the pole before it’s brought to the museum’s outdoor plaza in mid-July.

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In a statement, the museum said that artists Tom and Perry LaFortune, members of the Tsawout First Nation, will be at the museum until early October, carving the half-metre piece of timber into a finished totem pole.

The brothers and ministry staff selected “crossing cultures and healing” as the theme of the pole that the ministry will rise at its Victoria headquarters.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said a desire to provide a culturally safe, respectful space for healing is at the heart of the ministry’s programs and services.

Museum CEO Jack Lohman said it’s a gift to have such close access to Indigenous artists at work on a complex project that the public is invited to watch unfold as the brothers discuss their craft.

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