That’s what Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars said several times after a new sculpture was unveiled outside the band’s new office building in downtown Williams Lake on Friday, July 26.
The sculpture is a horse made of scrap metal, created by Krittayakorn Chaijit, an artist from Thailand.
“This is our contribution to this area, to this region and to Secwepemc territory,” Sellars said. “This art work is putting our stamp down on our traditional territory here in the City of Williams Lake and it is opening up our brand new building which is behind us.”
Band councillor Joanne Moise said when the renderings for the sculpture were shared with the council, many sitting at the table felt good.
“It really lifted up our pride,” Moise said. “Most of our head families from the Williams Lake Indian Band were ranching families, they were out on the land, so it is really significant that we have a horse as our first piece of art for our community.”
Explaining the display of the sculpture, she said it is important to note the manner in which the horse is positioned.
“It is facing toward our community, it is also facing toward the sunrise because we know that there is a new beginning for our community and it is almost like we are rising up from the struggles that our people have had. You can see that it has a dancing gate, there is a lot of movement in the sculpture.”
City councillor Jason Ryll, on behalf of the City, said he was proud to be involved in the unveiling of the sculpture.
“I hope it acts as a beacon for culture and in support of culture in our area for many generations to come. It’s certainly going to act as a focal point for our downtown and anything we can do in partnership with our community partners and the Williams Lake Indian Band and our community partners outside the City limits to strengthen relationships we are fully in support of.”
MLA Donna Barnett, who attended the unveiling, offered congratulations.
“It’s a great, great piece of art,” Barnett said. “I’ve been thinking you should get on it for one picture, don’t you?” she joked.
Praising former Chief Ann Louie for her efforts to make changes in the community, Barnett said Louie did a great job mentoring Sellars.