The Town of Qualicum Beach wants First Nations groups in the region to help update one of the images on its town crest to better reflect their history and culture.
The teepee image in the lower section of the crest, said Coun. Scott Harrison, does not accurately represent the First Nations people in the area.
Harrison made a motion at the council regular meeting on June 8 that town engage its Indigenous neighbours to provide a more appropriate image to represent their culture of the lower section of the crest. He said he had discussions with Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Recalma about a month ago to see whether they are interested in having the image on the crest updated.
“For me the intent when Sam Little originally drew up our crest, he was trying to be inclusive,” said Harrison. “But it is also a reaction to the times in the 1940s where there was less actual outreach, less of a dialogue and it was more of a descriptive approach to dealing with our neighbours. And I think, we’re trying to honour the same intent with this but it’s just trying to update it to a more culturally appropriate image because the Coast Salish people they did not ever reside in teepees nor did they utilize it at any point, as far as I am aware.”
Coun. Teunis Westbroek said when the crest was designed 80 years ago, it wasn’t out of disrespect. He indicated people would recognize the teepee as having something to do with Indigenous people in North America.
“It stands out right away,” said Westbroek. “Qualicum Beach was a leader in saying ‘we acknowledge that over three-quarters of our crest is designated to our Indigenous people.’”
Coun. Robert Filmer said when the crest was created, there was an “uneducated design.”
“There was clearly no dialogue with the First Nations people at that time and that’s what we’re trying to fix now,” said Filmer.
Harrison said he had suggested to the Qualicum First Nation that they act as the point of contact for the K’omoks and Snaw-Naw-As First Nations, who also share the territory.
“It will be more the First Nations who would be working together to collaborate rather than having the town mediate that relationship,” said Harrison.
Council unanimously endorsed Harrison’s motion.