Today was our second-last day on the intangible cultural heritage course at UVic. We started off with a visit to the First Peoples House. Pamela Clermont and her co-workers showed us around the building, created as a social, cultural and academic centre for Indigenous students on campus. It is a gorgeous space, which you can read more about here, packed full of local, amazing, indigenous art.
Outside is an ongoing totem pole carving project. The artist, Hjalmer Wenstob, has posted the artist's statement on site:
"I see the totem as a means of bringing together and strengthening connections between cultures, both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous. It creates a space to come together where we are all equal, to create a future where we can walk side by side on the same path. To bring together academic and traditional Indigenous teaching for a common goal of unity, understanding and respect. - Hjalmer Wenstob"
After our visit to the First Peoples House, we had a conversation with Janna Wilson, Program Coordinator with the Cultural Management Programs at UVic, who has been working on their Indigenous languages retention programs. Then we went off to the Royal BC Museum for a behind-the scenes look at the Our Living Languages exhibit, with Michael Barnes, Head of Exhibitions, and Dr Martha Black. Curator of Ethnology.
Thanks to all who gave of their time today, and for freely sharing all their expertise and experience!