Among those in attendance at a recent “brushing ceremony” for a Coast Salish “whirl” at Foundry Abbotsford were (from left) Chief James Hobart of the Spuzzum First Nation, Archway executive director Rod Santiago, artist Ray Silver and Skowkale First Nation elder Gwen Point. (Submitted photo)

Among those in attendance at a recent “brushing ceremony” for a Coast Salish “whirl” at Foundry Abbotsford were (from left) Chief James Hobart of the Spuzzum First Nation, Archway executive director Rod Santiago, artist Ray Silver and Skowkale First Nation elder Gwen Point. (Submitted photo)

‘Brushing ceremony’ held at Foundry Abbotsford for new Aboriginal carving

Artwork created by Ray Silver features thunderbird and eagle

Elder Gwen Point recently performed a brushing ceremony on a Coast Salish whirl carved by artist Ray Silver at Foundry Abbotsford.

The artwork was installed Oct. 22 in honour of the Sumas and Matsqui First Nations of the Sto:ló people.

“This carving is a beautiful symbol of collaboration, relationships, and supportive community that is the core of Foundry and Archway Community Services,” said Emily Jane Henry, a member of the Ochapowace Cree Nation and board member at Archway Community Services, who emceed the event.

Foundry is a youth and health wellness centre that houses 14 different services under one roof to provide integrated care.

Foundry provided services to more than 1,600 youth in its first year of operation, and 10 per cent of them were Indigenous youth.

Silver, a member of the Sumas First Nation, shared how he let the red wood cedar “speak” to him, allowing it to guide the design.

RELATED: Foundry Abbotsford opens its doors to youth in need

VIDEO: Take a walk through Abbotsford Foundry

Included in the carving is a thunderbird, recognized as one of the strongest beings on the West Coast, and an eagle as a symbol of peace.

The cedar brushing ceremony was held to awaken the artwork. The West Coast nations recognize cedar as sacred medicine, and branches are used as “helpers” for their purifying and healing qualities.

Point, a member of the Skowkale First Nation, is the University of the Fraser Valley chancellor and previously worked in all levels of education. She has been recognized with several awards, including being named an honorary witness by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2012.

The ceremony was witnessed by Chief James Hobart of the Spuzzum First Nation; Leo Nolin, a Métis elder of St. Boniface in Manitoba; and Rod Santiago, executive director of Archway.

Witnesses shared their reflections on the ceremony and will share their experience with their communities.

Chief Alice Mckay and council member Brenda Morgan of the Matsqui Nation were in attendance along with Eric Van Egmond, the director of operations for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

As directed by Point, the Foundry will appoint two people to regularly replace the cedar placed around the artwork, as a way to help continue to hold the positive space created by the cedar brushing ceremony.

The Foundry will also regularly host Indigenous activities. The Foundry central office is also piloting a virtual clinic so youth who face transportation barriers can still access support.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won a $1-million prize with Lotto 6/49. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen recently won the $1-million prize in a Lotto 6/49 draw. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Ying Chun Chen wins Lotto 6/49 $1-million prize

Ticket was purchased at Abbotsford’s FreshCo for the March 6, 2021 draw

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Todd Richard recently released “Green and Blue,” a heartfelt country ballad thanking the frontline workers battling against the pandemic. (Screenshot/ Todd Richard)
Harrison country artist Todd Richard releases ‘Green and Blue,’ a tribute to frontline workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
Former Chilliwack man charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Prolific offender Kao Macaulay, 23, accused of breaking into home on March 30

Workers were on scene to clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford at Trans Mountain Pipeline’s Sumas pump station in June 2020. (File photo by Shane MacKichan)
TSB releases final report on June 2020 oil spill in Abbotsford

Transportation Safety Board says pipeline fitting to blame for spill of up to 190K litres

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Grey whale off Vancouver Island develops lesions after being tagged, researchers monitor its condition

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read