North Van school welcomes new pole carved by Squamish Nation artist

An international artist, students and dignitaries from across the North Shore were in attendance for a Welcome Pole Ceremony held at St. Thomas Aquinas in North Vancouver Thursday afternoon.

The new pole was carved by Squamish Nation artist Latash - Maurice Nahanee and features a figure holding a steering paddle, which represents strong leadership.

The pole will be located outside the entrance to St. Thomas Aquinas. The project was commissioned by the Sisters of the Child Jesus, who are the founders of the private Catholic school.

The ceremony lasted approximately one hour and included a blanket and bandana ceremony, a traditional blessing of the Welcome Pole, and a call to witnesses. 

“We are humbled and honoured to have members of the Squamish Nation lead us in a Welcome Pole Ceremony. It’s with great pride that we receive this gift,” stated John Campbell, principal of St. Thomas Aquinas, in a press release.

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