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Date: November 13, 2008

Artists Selected For UVic's First Peoples House

The University of Victoria has selected three Coast and Straits Salish artists to create major works of art for the university’s First Peoples House, now under construction with architecture reflecting local First Nations traditions.

Doug Lafortune of the Tsawout First Nation will carve two welcome posts depicting the traditional Coast Salish man and the wife/mother, holding a child. The welcome posts will frame the building’s main entrance, inviting visitors to sit and share stories and a meal.

Xwa-lack-tun (Rick Harry) of the Squamish Nation will create a carved entrance door featuring a thunderbird and salmon theme on one side, and a killer whale on the other.

Charles W. Elliot of the Tsartlip First Nation will carve two house posts on the theme of “Emerging Frogs from the Great Flood.” “Frogs historically represent the rebirth and regeneration of all living things. They mark the beginning of the new year and the end of the winter ceremonial season,” said Elliot. The posts will frame the interior entrance to the ceremonial room.

“I am delighted that we have attracted artists of this caliber to contribute their talents to First Peoples House,” said Martin Segger, Director of the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery and chair of the First Peoples House artist selection committee. “A call for artists to produce additional carvings for the interior of the ceremonial hall will be issued later this fall.”

Construction of First Peoples House began in May 2008, on a central site inside Ring Road between the Clearihue and Cornett buildings. Targeted for completion in July 2009, the building will create a welcoming and supportive space on campus for Indigenous students and the broader community.

For more information, visit http://web.uvic.ca/fphouse/ or contact Martin Segger, Director of the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery, at 250-721-6562.

Media contacts:
Martin Segger (Community Relations) at 250-721-6562 or msegger@uvic.ca
Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi (Office of Indigenous Affairs) at 250-472-4952 or franhj@uvic.ca
Melanie Groves (University Communications) at 250-472-4357 or mgroves@uvic.ca

First Peoples House Artists

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