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Reconciliation pole unveiling at UBC

Last Updated Apr 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm PDT

(UBC Public Affairs, Twitter, Photo)
Summary

Reconciliation pole tells what native culture was like before, during and after residential school system

55-foot red cedar pole will be a permanent fixture at UBC

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A major art installation is being unveiled today at the UBC Campus.

The pole tells the story of what native culture was like before, during and after the residential school system.

The base features more traditional native artwork.

“The artist is a Haida carver, James Hart, so that iconography is Haida specific, but I think he intends it to make a broader reference to the many kinds of traditional culture across Canada in indigenous communities,” says Linc Kesler the director of the First Nations House of Learning at UBC.

In the middle is a sculpture of a schoolhouse along thousands of copper nails to represent the children who died in these institutions. While the top of this pole shows a path forward.

Kesler believes this is a message of solemn reflection and hope.

“I think it really looks towards a renewed sense of possibility for very positive relationships and productive relationships among all of us here in the country.”

Kesler says the monument won’t be alone.

“It also points towards another development that is coming online later this year. That is the opening of the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre.”