“This great cedar is about 800 years old; before this town even existed. But when this was a seedling, our creator knows the destinies of everything that exists on this earth, and he knew what this was going to be for, way before it even started growing.”
– Harry Lucas, Nuu-chah-nulth language-speaker and Elder –
April 18, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. – The First Nations Education Foundation (FNEF) has released a new 5-minute online video that chronicles recent preparation work being done by the carving team in Port Alberni on the 800-year-old cedar log selected for the FNEF Language Revitalization Pole. This new video, entitled “Victory Song,” is the second in a series of videos being produced by filmmaker Dale Devost to document the carving of the pole. The new video, along with several other videos, can be accessed on the videos page of the FNEF website: https://fnef.ca/videos/.
In addition to master carver Tim Paul, who leads up the pole carving project, the new video also features Harry Lucas, a Nuu-chah-nulth language-speaker and Elder. In the video, Lucas speaks eloquently about the significance of the cedar tree Tim Paul selected for the pole – first in Nuu-chah-nulth and then in English. As Lucas states in the video: “This great cedar is about 800 years old; before this town [Port Alberni] even existed. But when this was a seedling [pointing to the cedar log], our creator knows the destinies of everything that exists on this earth, and he knew what this was going to be for, way before it even started growing.”
In a previous FNEF video, Tim Paul spoke passionately about the significance of the tree selected for the pole and talked about what the tree represents for Truth and Reconciliation: “It’s holding something of importance; the language, the key to who we are and how we are able to be the ones that survived to bring things forward. To share and be in amongst our neighbours. To give us goodwill, to give us something like this.”
Future videos will be made available periodically throughout the pole carving process.
The FNEF Language Revitalization Pole was commissioned to celebrate the United Nations’ 2019 Year of Indigenous Languages. The video footage being captured by filmmaker Dale Devost will later be used in full in education tool kits for distribution to the 11,000 UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) in over 180 countries and as content for language lessons on the FNEF platform.
For additional background information on the FNEF Language Revitalization Pole project, please see the links below to online resources.
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