900-pound canoe carved by Westbank First Nations youth

The carving started after a blessing ceremony

A 900-pound log gifted to the Westbank First Nation (WFN) is about to become a beautiful canoe in the next few weeks.

Nicole Werstuik, the youth and recreation programming manager, said the log came from the Mt. Boucherie Secondary School’s Aboriginal leadership class.

She said they received the log in January, which had been sitting in their public works yard until Tuesday, July 14.

“I was fortunate enough to collaborate with our intergovernmental affairs department with a culture and language grant,” Werstuik said.

“That’s how I was able to hire two facilitators, master carver Frank Marchand and his apprentice Will Poitras.”

She said elder Wilfrid Barnes blessed the log and smudged the carvers and other youth participants, wishing them good health to help them put positive energy into the log as they carve.

“Our WFN youth works group started carving it along with Frank and Will. Other community members are also invited to come down and see what’s going on.”

“The men’s wellness group came down, as well as some council members first day we started with a saw, chopping off the top and digging in there,” she said.

The canoe has been named kwkeyuma? snk’lip, after two baby coyotes that were seen visiting the log before the project started. Werstuik said the goal is to finish carving the canoe by the end of August.

There will be another blessing ceremony as kwkeyuma? snk’lip is introduced into the water at the end of the project.

Community members interested in seeing the canoe’s progress are welcome to come down to the public works yard from Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

READ: BC Parks considering a day-use pass system for popular locations to avoid overcrowding

READ: Over 60 cases of COVID-19 related to Kelowna cluster


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Revelstoke rallies to save snared eagle

Local climber scales tree to save the raptor

Petition to protect Mt. Begbie goes to the province

Petition calls for no development on the mountain until new land use plans created for Revelstoke

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services douses house fire Aug. 7

Investigators say probable cause was an unattended barbecue

UFO trackers set their sights on Revelstoke skies

Rob Freeman UFO World Explorer and crew went up Sale Mountain

Updated: Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread. Two men have been arrested.

The Okanagan’s first Arabic store opens in Kelowna

The store is located in Kelowna’s Landmark District

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

COVID-19 outbreak at South Okanagan farm declared over

There continues to be other community exposure events in the Interior Health region

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

Most Read