The large 80-pound metal sign with North Cowichan’s now retired coat of arms on it that was located adjacent to the main door at the municipal hall will be donated to the Chemainus Museum.
Council made the decision to donate the hand-made 42 inch by 46.5 inch sign and the grant document that describes the coat of arms, which was located outside council chambers, to the museum at its meeting on Nov. 17.
In a report, Barb Floden, the municipality’s manager of communication and public engagement, said that while no longer relevant to North Cowichan, the sign and the grant document are historical artifacts that hold importance and tell a story to the community.
“The coat of arms was developed in the late 1980s with the very best of intentions by community volunteers and represented the municipality as an official emblem for more than 30 years,” Floden said.
“After discussions amongst staff, it was determined that the Chemainus Valley Historic Society be approached to determine their interest in acquiring these objects, as they operate the Chemainus Museum. The Chemainus Museum curator and the board chair expressed a keen interest in acquiring and eventually displaying these artifacts in order to tell this part of North Cowichan’s history to museum visitors and researchers.”
Council decided at its meeting on Aug. 18 to drop the coat of arms, which was adopted in 1989, because of perceptions it raises around colonialism, racism and gender inequality.
In a report to council by Floden at the time, she said the coat of arms, which features a white logger and a white pioneer woman standing next to North Cowichan’s shield, is not in harmony with the 94 calls to action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Report, nor council’s 2019-2022 strategic plan and its call for more inclusion in the community.