A long-envisioned project was completed last week with installation of the final WSÁNEC 13-moon sign in a series of three.
A collaboration between Tsawout First Nation and Salt Spring Parks and Recreation Commission maintenance supervisor Kirk Harris saw the sign put up on the Fulford side of the Tsawout Reserve lands, past the end of Reginald Hill Road, on March 22. Then a ceremony with Tsawout members and others took place on Tuesday.
According to Phil Vernon of Salt Spring Islanders for Reconciliation and Justice, who helped facilitate the action, the first two signs went up at the Menhinick Road side and at the end of Fraser Road six years ago.
“At that time, uncertainty over the placement of the third sign delayed its installation, and it was all but forgotten,” said Vernon.
He explained that the initial project was a collaboration between Tsawout First Nation, PARC and the Institute for Education, Sustainability and Action. Salt Spring artist Briony Penn worked with SELILIYE (Belinda Claxton) and other WSÁNEC elders to document and illustrate the 13 WSÁNEC moons (or months) and the harvesting of the different seafood, plants and animals associated with each time of year.
For years, Tsawout First Nation has generously allowed islanders and visitors to walk the trails of their land, asking only that dogs be left behind as they can disturb ground-nesting birds and cause E. coli contamination in shellfish beds.
Walkers should also note that Reginald Hill Road is a private road, and parking is only available outside Reginald Hill Estates’ gate, near the mailboxes.