A father and son carving team unveiled their 13-metre reconciliation pole on Friday outside the Vancouver School District’s Education Centre to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.
James Harry says it was empowering to design the pole with his dad, Xwalacktun.
He says the woven pattern carved into the cedar represents the strengthening of connection between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
The event was one of many held across Canada, including a sunrise ceremony in Toronto, another totem pole unveiling in Whitehorse, and the renaming of a street in Montreal.
Vancouver Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould attended the Vancouver event, where young students sang and drummed and local First Nations members performed ceremonies.
The school district says the reconciliation pole and two smaller welcome figures, one male and one female, are carved out of centuries-old cedar logs and represent a national first for an educational institution.
Musqueam Nation Coun. Morgan Guerin says National Indigenous Peoples Day has been a long time coming and it helps to restore pride for First Nations that will never be marred again.
The Canadian Press