Elder Elmer George

Talking stick tradition comes to B.C. legislature [with video]

Totem symbolizes Coast Salish tradition of respectful listening, with little effect on ill-tempered debate in Victoria

Aboriginal elders brought a Coast Salish talking stick into the B.C. legislature this week, in a solemn ceremony that had little lasting effect on the heckling and interruptions of political debate in Victoria.

A replica of the totem pole on the grounds of Government House, the ornate stick represents the right to speak and receive a respectful hearing in aboriginal tradition. It was carved by Songhees artist James Delorme and presented to former Lieutenant Governor Steven Point in 2011 at a ceremony to mark the official naming of the Salish Sea.

Current Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon was on hand May 11 to present the stick to B.C. legislature Speaker Linda Reid, with a ceremonial prayer in the SENCOTEN language by elders Elmer George and Mary Anne Thomas.

“We present it to everybody this House but also to everybody that may come through these doors in the future,” said Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation.

Reid said in a statement the talking stick will remain in the legislature until the next election in May 2017.

After the ceremony, Reid continued her struggle to maintain order in the rancourous debate of question period, which has declined more frequently into shouting matches as the next election approaches.

 

Just Posted

Becoming a Big Sister with BBBS Quesnel

An Observer reporter writes about her experience becoming a Big Sister through BBBS Quesnel

First Nations take steps to blockade moose hunt

Members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation are making good on their promise

Todd Doherty was recognized today for his life-saving actions during a flight home

Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, was recognized today for… Continue reading

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams faces breach of probation charge in Quesnel

Adams is scheduled to consult counsel in Quesnel Oct. 9, after breaching ban from owning animals

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read