Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Canoe Creek) Chief Hank Adam and band member Phyllis Webstad with the repatriated petroglyph at 150 Mile House Wednesday morning before departing for its journey to be placed at the Churn Creek Protected Area southwest of Williams Lake.

Stswecem’c Xgat’tem (Canoe Creek) Chief Hank Adam and band member Phyllis Webstad with the repatriated petroglyph at 150 Mile House Wednesday morning before departing for its journey to be placed at the Churn Creek Protected Area southwest of Williams Lake.

Petroglyph returns home to Canoe Creek

A petroglyph that’s been in Vancouver since 1926 was being repatriated and permanently placed at the Churn Creek Protected Area Wednesday.

A petroglyph that’s been in Vancouver since 1926 was being repatriated and permanently placed at the Churn Creek Protected Area Wednesday.

The 11,000-pound boulder was loaded onto a Caribou Interior Crane Services truck at the Vancouver Museum and brought up to the Cariboo.

The rock departed from 150 Mile House Wednesday. From there the convoy will travel via Sheep Creek/Farwell Canyon, through Gang Ranch, although not along the Gang Ranch bridge because it cannot support the weight of the rock.

The rock was to arrive at Churn Creek by noon, and from there a procession will begin at 2 p.m. for the last 1.5-kilometre journey to place the rock at the Churn Creek kiosk.

The journey home kicked off Monday with a ceremony at the Vancouver Museum. In attendance were staff from the museum, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem and Musqueam First Nations leaders, Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and Cariboo Regional District board chair Al Richmond.

In her speech at the ceremony, Phyllis Webstad focused on the time period of 1926 when the petroglyph was removed from the region and moved to Stanley Park in Vancouver, first using horses and then rail.

Webstad described it as a time when Stswecem’c Xgat’tem or Shuswap were the only languages spoken — English wasn’t understood.The only mode of transportation was horse and wagon. There weren’t any roads, only trails.

“My grandmother had just turned seven and was entering residential school for the first time in our history. We were put onto reserves and it was a time when we didn’t have a say about anything. We had to get passes to leave the reserves so basically anything could happen,” she said, adding today things have changed dramatically.

Richmond said after following the repatriation effort over the last two years, it was great to finally see the petroglyph in person.

“The fact that it was 1926 when it left and seeing the kind of condition it’s in was good. It’s been well preserved in the main inner courtyard at the Vancouver Museum where it’s been since 1992.”

Monday’s ceremony was well-attended, with about 70 people in attendance, Richmond said. “There was a wonderful blessing done by Stswecem’c Xga’tem First Nation (SXFN) member Gwen Therrian for the rock’s trip home. It’s good to see it coming home.”

The best part, he added, was to watch the elders who attended the ceremony.

“They were quite emotional about seeing it come home, and the spirit of the rock, as they see it, being called home to its ancestry. A good deal of the people that were there for speeches and lunch stayed to watch the ceremony afterwards.”

Describing the Vancouver Museum staff as having grown attached to the petroglyph over the years, Richmond said he could tell they were all very happy to be seeing it going home.

Wednesday morning Stswecem’c Xgat’tem chief Hank Adam was relieved the rain clouds had subsided and said it made a world of difference to see the sun.

“I’m anxious about the road down into Churn Creek that it may be really muddy, but I’m glad we have the rock on the truck. That took 11 hours,” he said, adding there was a big applause when they got it out of the courtyard and onto the truck in Vancouver.

Before departing from 150 Mile House, Adam said he was looking forward to laying the rock to rest.

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

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

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read