media release

Media Advisory: SFU will unveil a new hand-carved Musqueam welcome figure to honour local First Nations territories—September 6

September 05, 2017

Simon Fraser University will host a traditional First Nations ceremony to unveil a new welcome figure at SFU Vancouver campus on Wednesday, September 6 at 10am.

The figure, carved by Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow, is intended to honour, and to create a stronger awareness of, the local Coast Salish territories on which SFU Vancouver is located: the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam. The welcome figure also serves to encourage the SFU community and its visitors to learn more about local First Nations culture and history.

The artwork is titled Si’em, an honorific used to refer to elders, chiefs or speakers in Musqueam culture and other indigenous societies in B.C. and around the world. In Musqueam culture, a Si’em will welcome guests to the territory.

WHAT: Musqueam Welcome Figure unveiling
: September 6, 2017 at 10am to 12pm
: SFU Vancouver campus: Harbour Centre in the foyer (515 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3)


  • First Nations drumming and singing will take place as part of the ceremony at 10:35am
  • Unveiling: hand-carved red cedar Welcome Figure (approximately 600 pounds, 11 feet high and three feet wide) at 10:55am
  • Indigenous-style food: Metro Vancouver residents breaking bread with elders and other members of the Musqueam community at a reception held in the First People’s Gathering Place on campus at 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Traditional First Nations regalia will be worn by some participants

Media Opportunities:

There will be an opportunity to take photos and to interview Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow, SFU president Andrew Petter, SFU Office for Aboriginal People’s officer community relations Gary George, or Chief Wayne Sparrow following the unveiling. 


As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 145,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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