First Nations, the Lekwungen People, were honoured in the first ceremony of its kind in Oak Bay, at Municipal Hall. The gathering of First Nations elders and other dignitaries celebrated a cedar carving display and installation of individual plaques located at each of eight Oak Bay cairn sites. These visual interpretations are designed to depict and recognize the rich First Nations culture and heritage that form part of Oak Bay’s history.
Thanks to First Nations artist Charles Elliott for his beautiful artistry in cedar, eight carvings were unveiled and will hang in the lobby of Municipal Hall. These cedar renderings were used to create the plaques located at each of the eight cairn sites.
This project that began eight years ago succeeded in large part because of the persistent efforts of volunteer Marion Cummings, Heritage Foundation member and longtime Oak Bay resident. Acknowledging additional Oak Bay heritage volunteer support, Mrs. Cummings also thanked the BC Museum, Chief and Council of the Songhees, the artist and successive Oak Bay Mayors and Councils, among others, for their interest and support.
These striking carvings, cairns and plaques are a stunning visual tribute to the Aboriginal people who settled and lived in Oak Bay centuries ago.