Carver Luke Marston was on the scene early on the morning of Thursday, April 4 at the Quw’utsun Cultural Centre’s carving shed.
It was a big day for him and members of Lalum’utul Smun’eem Child and Family Services and the Youth Engagement Program as one of the last old-growth western red cedar trees to be harvested on Vancouver Island was scheduled to arrive at the centre that morning.
Under the direction of Marston, a Coast Salish carver and member of the Stu’minus First Nation, the 15,000 pound log will be transformed into a traditional ocean going canoe for use by the Lalum’utul’ Smun’eem Canoe Family, Cowichan children, youth, and families.
TimberWest donated the massive log for the project.
After the log was finally off-loaded and on rollers on the ground, Cowichan councillor and elder Albie Charlie welcomed everyone to the ceremony, expressed his delight in seeing young people reconnecting with their roots, and thanked Marston for taking on the project.
Marston said it was an important part of First Nations culture to remember that no one owns the skills they use: they are passed on from one generation to the next so the culture survives into the future.