Lekwungen traditional dancers entertained the crowd with a series of dances and musical numbers on Saturday during the official unveiling ceremony of the wood-carved entranceway to the Garry Oak Learning Meadow at Fort Rodd Hill. The archway was carved by Tom LaFortune of the Tsawout First Nation. Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff

Colwood’s Fort Rodd Hill unveils new hand-carved entrance piece

Entrance to Garry Oak Learning Meadow carved by Tom LaFortune

Tom LaFortune has been carving wood for 46 years, but he is adamantly opposed to having the title of “master” bestowed upon him.

“People call me a master carver but I haven’t mastered anything. I learn something with every carving I do,” he said.

His latest piece now stands at the entrance to Fort Rodd Hill’s Garry Oak Learning Meadow and was unveiled at a ceremony on Saturday morning.

The piece, which LaFortune said took him about two and a half months to construct, signifies the historical importance of this treed area for First Nations groups.

“We used to hunt in the Garry oak meadows for deer and (harvest) camus and other plants. It was a gathering place,” he said of traditional activities on the land.

LaFortune, a member of Tsawout First Nation, said the male and the female depicted on the carving represent the people and that the male’s mouth is open because speaking is the traditional role for men.

Having a piece commissioned for Fort Rodd Hill, which lies on the traditional territory of Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, is also special for him, he added.

“My grandchildren can come and see this and their kids can come and see it.”

The unveiling ceremony was highlighted by a performance from the Lekwungen traditional dancers and singers.



Just Posted

UPDATE: Tsunami warning ended for Greater Victoria

Homes in Colwood near Esquimalt Lagoon were evacuated after tsunami warning for coastal areas of B.C. after 7.9 earthquake off Alaskan coast

Support growing for palliative care facility on the West Shore

Dave Saunders says facilities ‘bursting at the seams’

Royal Bay student bound for Swaziland

World College admission brings surprise destination

Greater Victoria under another wind warning this morning

Strong southeast winds will reach speeds of up to 80 km/h in Greater Victoria

Bob Heyes back behind Shamrocks bench for 2018 season

Art Webster, Mike Simpson, John Hamilton will also return

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Alaska earthquake prompted warning for coastal BC

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Most Read