Street Banners - Selected Designs
2017 Street Banners Explore Our Nature & Celebrate Our First Nations
In the days before the Canada Day celebration new banners were hung throughout Maple Ridge. Two designs were dedicated to celebrate and acknowledge the Katzie & Kwantlen First Nations and the others were designed by four area youth as part of a special contest based on the theme ‘Explore Our Nature.’
Special Thanks to the Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, and in particular Peter Arkell from Picto Graphic Creative, who designed the Katzie & Kwantlen banners and provided the historical information on the design. Peter also worked with the original artwork from our youth designers to help render the finished designs that are now hanging around the community.
The Kwantlen & Katzie Banners
The Katzie & Kwantlen designs feature a very special artifact called the ‘Skytte Bowl’ which has been renamed as “Qelemteleq.” Two additional designs have been created by the Kwantlen and Katzie First Nations that features their traditional language and a historic artifact that dates back at least 5000 years.
The History of “Qelemteleq.”
The Skytte bowl was found in the mid-part of the last century, near Webster’s Corner in Maple Ridge. It was found by a homesteader who was digging a foundation for his house. He donated the piece to the Vancouver Museum, where it has remained until recently.
Earlier this year Kwantlen and Katzie were made aware of the bowl, and were told that it would be travelling to the National Gallery of Canada Museum for their Canada 150 exhibit. Kwantlen and Katzie were first asked permission to display it, and were consulted on any cultural protocols that would have to take place prior to the trip.
Helen and Herb Joe were cultural advisors for a ceremony that took place in Vancouver. There was cultural work to be completed, and songs were shared. This represented an opportunity for Kwantlen and Katzie to connect with the artifact. The Skytte bowl is regarded as a ‘living piece’, with both nations having a responsibility to look after its spirit.
Delegates travelled from both Kwantlen and Katzie to Ottawa to commemorate The Skytte bowl’s arrival at its new temporary home. The artifact will stay at the museum until 2019.
Renaming the Skytte Bowl
The Skytte family originally found the bowl on their property, and as a result their name became synonymous with the artifact. The cultural teachers wished to give him a name representing and honoring his spirit, as well as recognizing the place he came from. The place of discovery was close to “Qelem”, meaning ‘place of many fish’. It was felt that it couldn’t carry a place name alone, so the suffix “teleq” was added, which came together as “Qelemteleq.”
Reconciliation in Action
Kwantlen and Katzie people are so happy to be reconnected with Qelemteleq. Qelemteleq has since travelled, and everybody involved felt honored to be a part of the process. Hopefully this is the beginning of many artifacts coming home to our nations.
The Youth Banner Program
Elementary students and teachers from four local schools in School District 42 worked with Artists in Residence Robi Smith and Kat Wahamaa to create artwork for these new street banners in their classrooms. Over 100 designs were created by the students. Each school and class short listed their favourite designs and a selection committee with representatives from the City and School District chose the four finalists. It was a difficult decision as there were many great designs interpreting the theme “Canada 150: Exploring our Nature”. The finalists were Laura Bowman from Harry Hooge Elementary (turtle design), Paul Kwon from Harry Hooge Elementary (maple leaf landscape), Evynn Hewitt from Blue Mountain Elementary (trees) and Bobbi Symmes from Glenwood Elementary (salamander).
The students with the selected designs were recognized during the 2017 Canada Day ceremony in Memorial Peace Park.