Client: Simon Fraser University | Location: Burnaby, BC | Budget: $25,000 | Completed: 2017

Simon Fraser University - Welcome Totem

The inscription on SFU’s Welcome Figure, reads:

The Coast Salish Welcome Figure, created in 2016 by Squamish artist, Sinamkin – Jody Broomfield and was hand-carved from an old growth red cedar log, which came from the Squamish Valley. The figure embraces all who come to Burnaby Mountain and acknowledges the surrounding traditional territories of the Skwxwu7mesh Uxwumix (Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Kwikwetlem Nations.

The Welcome Figure is addorned with traditional regalia – cedar hat, woven wool sash across chest, cedar bark skirt – and has a canoe paddle facing upward, symbolizing peace. Featured on the base are the Sea-To-Sky Guardians: Eagle, Bear and Killer Whale. The Welcome Pole is covered in natural wood stain and treated with wood sealant.  

Bryce worked collaboratively both with EG and SFU staff, the artist and Skwxwu7mesh Uxwumix First Nations representatives in order to select a location for the welcome pole and to place it in an appropriate manner. The objective was to create a landscape “podium” for the pole that was both aesthetically attractive and suitably respectful of the Skwxwu7mesh Uxwumix Nation’s culture and heritage.

A variety of native plant material with ethnobotanical relevance was carefully selected for the base of the pole, which was also set in a dry river bed of washed cobble and cedar logs. Amongst the paving area stone benches of locally-sourced, rough hewn basalt were selected to provide a place for visitors to sit. A stainless steel interpretive sign and up-lighting combine to illuminate the pole as well as the story behind its creation.

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