Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation carver, observes the house post he carved, which now is situated in front of the Kw’umut Lelum centre on Centre Street in Nanaimo. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

House post representative of work of Kw’umut Lelum in Nanaimo

Snuneymuxw First Nation artist Noel Brown’s carved red cedar house post unveiled Friday, April 16

A monument of Snuneymuxw culture now graces the front of the centre that provides services to the First Nation.

Noel Brown, Snuneymuxw First Nation artist, worked three months carving a house post from red cedar and the fruits of his labour were unveiled Friday, April 16, at the Kw’umut Lelum centre in south Nanaimo.

In terms of the process, Brown said while chainsaws are now part of the process, it still comes down to “the old tools.” The house post represents various aspects of Indigenous culture, he said.

“The eagle is taking care of the baby and that’s what Kw’umut Lelum does, take care of the young First Nations kids and carries up their prayers to the creator,” said Brown. “The woman above takes care of the children and the blanket keeps the children warm and safe and the killer whale watches them, when they’re near the sea or on the sea. There are mountains and water on the blanket of the lady because that’s what we live around and what feeds us.”

Bill Yoachim, Snuneymuxw councillor and Kw’umut Lelum executive director, said the house post mirrors work done at the centre.

“The house post is welcoming … it gives us strength for the hard work we do with families and youth in trying to create strength and resiliency,” said Yoachim.

Chief Michael Wyse, of Snuneymuxw First Nation, was pleased with the work and said it was inspirational, especially in this time of COVID-19.

“It’s wonderful to celebrate something very positive like this in our community, with all that we’ve been through with COVID and we’re able to come together as a community, representing nine nations, to unveil a beautiful gift that Noel has carved for us,” said Wyse. “It’s a very proud day.”

READ ALSO: Snuneymuxw, City of Nanaimo renew reconciliation efforts



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