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Salish First at Tsehum and Sidney Today

Sidney, Vancouver Island, British Columbia is perhaps best known internationally as the location of Victoria's airport... but that does absolutely no justice to this small township of 12000 inhabitants at all. It could more appropriately be famed for its niche marketing of second hand books, with 10 shops ranged up and down Beacon Street. But the purpose of our visit was to see four particular murals and a seated bench sculpture.

Three of the murals are the work of Chris Johnson, aka Ice Bear, who although born to the Chippewas of Nawash on Georgian Bay, Ontario came to settle in Sidney in the early 90s.

The first work below depicts, from the First Nations' settlers, ten Salish paddlers escaping a storm at sea. It was created in giant bas relief, and is called Nil Tu, O... meaning In The Beginning . It was unveiled in July 1997 by Tseykum village people, and further details are available on the web.

Please click on the image to enlarge

Ice Bear's second great mural is the Ocean Mural, Celebrating Ocean Science & Technology, Past, Present and Future. and is shown below including the key as a separate panel.

Please click on the images to enlarge

The two other murals depicted below show Ice Bear's Saanich Canning Co. Limited original seafront wharf in the 1920s, and unknown artists' work on D Day 1944 & Today for the Royal Canadian Armed Forces. Finally, Sidney's contemplative figure is oblivious to passing pedestrians!

Please click on the images to enlarge

Published Date: December 22nd 2002

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