Tuesday morning saw the grade 8 class off on a special cultural tour of nearby Duncan. Known as “The City of Totems,” Duncan houses over 40 publicly displayed totem poles, making it the largest such collection in the world. These beautifully carved totems celebrate the rich history and culture of the Quw’utsun (Cowichan) people, and have expanded cross-cultural appreciation and understanding in Duncan.
Mrs. Grass and Mrs. Wilke led a respectful and informative tour around the city core, encouraging the students to take time around each of the totems. This experience served as a valuable introduction to the First Nations art, history and culture of the Cowichan Valley.
To follow up on this experience, the grade 8s will make a personal hand-drawn totem pole to represent their families. These will then be made into bookmarks to be used throughout the year.
Shawnigan Lake School is a co-educational boarding school on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The school is home to nationally-ranked academics, arts and athletics, with 100 per cent of graduates accepted to university.