Britannia carving pavilion honoured with Indigenous name

Schools & Students

A newly completed carving pavilion that is part of the Britannia secondary school complex has been given its Indigenous name. 

 šxʷqʷeləwən ct, from the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language, can be loosely translated to mean one heart, one mind and feelings. VSB knowledge keeper and elder in residence Shane Pointe explains the term as referring to an artist’s expression of feeling or spirit through their artwork – the sharing of Indigenous history, culture, teachings and connection to the land.

 At the official naming and blessing ceremony, guests gathered in the heart of the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood to celebrate the remarkable facility and observe Indigenous protocol by bearing witness. There were lively demonstrations of traditional song and dance.

 Explaining the activities that will happen in the pavilion, district principal for Aboriginal education Don Fiddler said, “We hope to recreate some of our Indigenous experiences, to one day have a canoe that will be developed here, as well as some welcome poles, totem poles, carving of masks and other small pieces too. We also want to allow the Indigenous artists in this neighbourhood to come and make use of it so it becomes a community drop in place as well.” In the past carvers would work at this spot under only a tent.

Britannia Carving Pavilion Naming Ceremony