A totem pole will be raised at Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre to honour murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. (Photo submitted)

A totem pole will be raised at Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre to honour murdered and missing indigenous women and girls. (Photo submitted)

Aboriginal friendship centre to raise totem pole for missing and murdered indigenous women

Coast Salish artists William and Joel Good craft totem pole for Tillicum Lelum centre

A memorial totem pole will be raised in Nanaimo that will honour murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.

Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre advised in a press release that it is close to being able to announce a date for a pole-raising ceremony at the Tenth Street location. Community members who have lost loved ones will be invited to participate in the ceremony.

“The parents of missing and murdered women and girls need to know that their children are still thought about,” said Grace Elliott-Nielsen, executive director of Tillicum Lelum, in the release. “Their spirit will always be here, and their families can always know that.”

The totem pole has been crafted by Coast Salish father-and-son artists William and Joel Good and features an eagle with wide-spread wings and a woman with wide-spread arms. The totem’s base will be reserved for memorials for women and girls. The totem pole was carved from a log that had been reserved to create a canoe for a sacred journey, the press release noted.

“It took us a long time to find the right log because of logging strikes and problems within the forestry industry. We couldn’t find one big enough to properly acknowledge the women and girls, and their families,” Elliott-Nielsen said. “So when Willy and Joel agreed to carve the totem out of the sacred log they’d set aside for their canoe, it was like an in-depth spiritual awakening.”

Tillicum Lelum plans to hold an annual ceremony, led by elders, to commemorate murdered and missing women and other victims of violence and abuse and “serve as reminder to us all about the impacts of colonization and residential schools on Indigenous women and their place in society,” the release noted.

The federal Women and Gender Equality department provided funding for the totem pole and the pole-raising ceremony.

For information about arranging for a loved one’s name to be included on the base of the totem pole, contact Elliott-Nielsen at 250-753-8291.

READ ALSO: Totem pole will watch over child care centre

READ ALSO: Snuneymuxw totems rise over Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

READ ALSO: Nanaimo Art Gallery unveils new front-entrance sculpture



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

MMIW

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s Fire and Loss Prevention Division, takes photos of the scene of a blaze that heavily damaged two apartments on Wakesiah Avenue on Sunday, April 18. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating suspicious apartment blaze

Fire destroyed ground-floor apartment, spread to second storey at Wakesiah Avenue complex

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations with RV hook-ups

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help them find a 16-year-old who has been missing since Sunday. (Photo submitted)
UPDATE: 16-year-old Nanaimo boy located safe

Teen had been reported missing last week and it was thought he may have left town

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to make its operations more efficient as it works on long-term goals around carbon-neutrality. (PQB News file photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo works to become carbon neutral by 2032

RDN committee of the whole members endorse plan developed by consultant

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Most Read