Celebrating second anniversary of Sno’uyutth welcome pole

Community Association of Oak Bay holds community reception on Nov. 22 to “spread good energy”

To mark the second anniversary of the raising of the Sno’uyutth welcome pole at Oak Bay High, the Community Association of Oak Bay is inviting the public down to the pole on Nov. 22 (proclaimed Sno’uyutth Day), for a community reception hosted by Oak Bay High School.

The day celebrates the commitment to a revitalized and collaborative relationship among Oak Bay community residents, the municipality, Greater Victoria School District and the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations whose traditional territory includes Oak Bay.

The event is from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and will feature Resilience of the People: A Visual History of the Traditional Territory of the Lekwungen/Songhees People, an exhibit curated by Songhees Nation and Robert Bateman Centre.

The name Sno’uyutth means “spreading good energy” in the Lekwungen language which was the goal of the groups, individuals and organizations that came together to raise the pole in 2015. The Community Association of Oak Bay launched the plan to design, carve and install the 20-foot “welcome pole” and it came to fruition with financial support from District of Oak Bay, Greater Victoria School District #61, Oak Bay Rotary Foundation, independent donors and active encouragement from Mayor & Council. The pole was designed by Songhees master-carver, Butch Dick (Yuxwelupten), and carved by his son, Clarence Dick (Wa’shk).

Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship Fund was created by Oak Bay Rotary Foundation with the surplus from the pole project. The aim of the fund is to award an annual $1,000 scholarship to an Indigenous student graduating from Oak Bay who will be pursuing post-secondary training.

Currently, there is $16, 500 in the endowment, which is $8,500 short of the $25,000 needed to support the scholarship in perpetuity. Partners have been secured for the next three years to enable the fund to go ahead and cover the $1,000 per year for the scholarship and the hope is that by the end of the three years, the endowment will have reached the needed $25,000.

There will be a benefit concert the following day on Nov. 23 at the Dave Dunnet theatre with proceeds from the show going towards the Sno’uyutth scholarship endowment.

Individuals and corporations may support Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarship Fund with tax deductible contributions. Send your cheque to Oak Bay Rotary Foundation, #210-2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC V8R 1G1. Or visit them on-line at oakbayrotaryfoundation.org and make your donation by Visa or MasterCard.

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