Reconciliation pole moved to make way for House of Clans

Those familiar with the site of a white tent and scatterings of wood shavings between Raven’s Cry Theatre and Big Mac’s convenience store in Sechelt may wonder where it has gone.

Shíshálh Nation master carver ?antuni Tony Paul’s Reconcili-ation Pole, which he has been carving since last summer, was moved to make way for the House of Clans development project, according to a release by syiyaya Reconciliation Movement, a collective that launched the pole-carving project in 2019.

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The six-storey mixed-use development will include 34 units of affordable housing, and will feature artwork by Paul in addition to the pole. Construction for the project had originally been slated for late spring of this year.

Once the pole and housing project are completed, the pole will be raised at a garden space at the House of Clans site, which is also the location of the former St. Augustine’s Indian Residential School. The pole, called Carving Tears into Dreams of Reconciliation, will serve “as a symbol of the journey we are continuing on the path towards reconciliation,” said the release.

Last year, the public was invited to view and participate in carving under the supervision of Paul, but due to COVID-19 health restrictions, that portion of the project has been suspended. More than 1,500 people have contributed to the carving.

“The move went smoothly due to great teamwork! We deeply appreciate everyone who assisted,” said the release. That included the shíshálh Nation chief and council, the Nation’s development corporation Tsain-ko, the Nation’s public works crew, and Lon’s Contracting and Crane Service.

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