Downtown Victoria streets are now lined with the work of a local Coast Salish artist.
On Tuesday morning city staff strung up banners designed by Dylan Thomas, who designed four banners to depict the traditional stories about the Lekwungen People.
“As a person with Lekwungen (Songhees) heritage, who was born and raised in Victoria, I feel a profound connection to this area in its modern, historical and pre-historical contexts, all of which I’ve tried to capture in my banner designs,” said Thomas in a statement. “For these banners, I’ve symbolized some of the lesser-known aspects of this territory’s history and mythology.”
The first design, titled “Born on the Shores” depicts Thomas’ great grandmother, who was one of the last people born in the Old Songhees Village – now called Songhees Point – less than a year before the reserve was transferred to its current location.
The next is titled “Camossung” was a little girl who in legends turned into a boulder that sat in the waters at the Tillicum Narrows. The boulder created a rare, tide-dependant, two-directional waterfall before it was blown up in 1960. The area which became known as For Victoria was temporarily called Fort Camossung before.
“Building the Bastion” depicts salmon and Salish figures to represent the collaboration between the Lekwungen People and the Hudson’s Bay Company representatives who worked together to build Fort Victoria.
Lastly, “Reef-Nets” honors the skill of reef-net fishing, which was exclusively used by the Salish community.
The banners are stationed along Douglas Street and will be in place until October.