Elders and matriarchs from the Haisla First Nation came together to bless and unveil the artwork outside new Haisla Health Centre last fall, with a grand opening in the works this summer.
The ceremony took place at 130 Owekeno Ave on Sept.15 2022. in the presence of the artists who worked on the artwork outside the building.
Construction work on the building designed in the form of a longhouse began in 2018. While the construction work is complete, the Haisla Health Centre is not formally open or inaugurated yet owing to sewage work that is yet to finish.
However, the Haisla Nation wanted to unveil some of the artwork outside the building which was put on hold following the onset of the pandemic.
“The building was blessed when staff first moved into their new offices and now, on Thursday, September 15th, the Haisla Health Centre will be doing the final unveiling of the artwork located at the front of the building, facing Owekeno Avenue,” the Haisla Nation has said in a statement announcing the artwork blessing.
Haisla artist and master carver Sammy Robinson’s totem pole stands in the centre of the design, surrounded by eight painted columns. The totem pole has a seal at the bottom, oolichan in the middle and a whale on the top.
Robinson was present at the ceremony along with artists Barry Wilson, Nathan Wilson and Paul Windsor who contributed to the artwork at the building.
Representatives from the District of Kitimat, Coun. Mario Feldhoff, and RCMP were also present at the ceremony.
Health manager, Eric Bottah, said they are hoping to do a grand opening in the summer of 2023, provided all final construction is complete.
See an e-edition of PROGRESS 2023 here.