Theodora Wesley, wife of the late Tsimshian carver Ray Wesley, admires one of her husband’s two totem poles that now adorn the entrance to SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples.
SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples (OAP) held a celebration July 22 to mark the installation of two historic totem poles outside the OAP office entrance.
The poles, carved by the late Tsimshian artist Ray Wesley, were originally erected more than three decades ago in SFU’s Naheeno Park, a popular location in the university’s early years. Over time, brush filled in the area and limited access to the poles, leaving them weathered, worn and forgotten until 2007 when they were removed for restoration and relocation on the Burnaby campus.
The carver’s wife Theodora Wesley, daughter Debbie Sisson and friends of the family attended the installation ceremony, which featured a recounting the poles’ history and their move indoors by Barbara Winter, curator of SFU’s Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology, and OAP director William Lindsay.
The event also featured remarks by VP-academic Jon Driver and Julie Saito, director of the SFU Alumni Association, which funded the restoration, as well a celebration song by Gary George, First Nations Student Life Coordinator. http://at.sfu.ca/Bclrvz