Elder Elmer George

Talking stick tradition comes to B.C. legislature [with video]

Totem symbolizes Coast Salish tradition of respectful listening, with little effect on ill-tempered debate in Victoria

Aboriginal elders brought a Coast Salish talking stick into the B.C. legislature this week, in a solemn ceremony that had little lasting effect on the heckling and interruptions of political debate in Victoria.

A replica of the totem pole on the grounds of Government House, the ornate stick represents the right to speak and receive a respectful hearing in aboriginal tradition. It was carved by Songhees artist James Delorme and presented to former Lieutenant Governor Steven Point in 2011 at a ceremony to mark the official naming of the Salish Sea.

Current Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon was on hand May 11 to present the stick to B.C. legislature Speaker Linda Reid, with a ceremonial prayer in the SENCOTEN language by elders Elmer George and Mary Anne Thomas.

“We present it to everybody this House but also to everybody that may come through these doors in the future,” said Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation.

Reid said in a statement the talking stick will remain in the legislature until the next election in May 2017.

After the ceremony, Reid continued her struggle to maintain order in the rancourous debate of question period, which has declined more frequently into shouting matches as the next election approaches.

 

Just Posted

Vancouver concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Gallery: Local Lights

Residents of Seabird Island, Agassiz and Harrison show off their Christmas spirit

UPDATE: Evacuations still in place for homes along Rockwell Drive

District of Kent mayor says no one was injured but slope stability remains a concern

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

Week in review – December 15

KHSAR aid rescue, emergency route plans and more

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

B.C. anti-hate campaigner finds Google search on his efforts redirects to porn

Text from online news article about Cran Campbell being used to link to suspect websites

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Most Read