On Sunday October 30, 2022, All Saints, Agassiz welcomed more than 60 people in the congregation for Sunday worship and to witness the installation of a Sto:lo House Post carved by Luke Pike, Swoli:u:se, of the Cheam First Nation.
Luke’s family members and supporters, including Luke’s Chief, Andrew Victor of the Cheam First Nation, and Sto:lo Nation Grand Chief Clarence Pennier attended the service and the meal in the parish hall after the service.
The creation of the House Post came from several conversations between All Saints’ members and First Nations People. The Wrongs 2 Rights Group at All Saints has been active since 2016, with First Nations People providing leadership and teaching on many topics for over six years.
The parish talked about commissioning a work of art. Conversations included a painting or a new lectern. They wanted to create something as a witness to the on-going journey of Reconciliation.
Sue Elliot, Monica Gibson-Pugsley and Sheila Barker worked in earnest to make something happen. Conversations with Grand Chief Pennier and Lori Kelly led to conversations with Luke Pike. Unfortunately, Monica and Sheila were unable to attend the service on Sunday.
Luke spoke during the liturgy about the three figures on the House Post, the frog, connected to the earth, the Sto:lo figure, holding a paddle, with scars on the cheek, the lips and hands signifying the wounds inflicted by Residential Schools. Luke said they were scars now rather than open wounds.
The House Post is symbol of the continuing journey of Reconciliation. It is also evidence of what can be accomplished by First Nation communities and parishes when they develop relationships promoting learning, support and mutual respect. We raise our hands to the Sto:lo People and the Parish of All Saints Agassiz for their inspiring work.
Photos: Kerry Baisely