Recently the middle school learners had the honour of spending the morning with First Nations artist Charles Elliott, Jeff Corntassel, teacher of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria, and his daughter Leila, one of our elementary students. We met up with them at the bottom of P’KOLS (which you may know as Mt. Douglas).
The visit began with some drumming and singing, followed by a hike to the top of the mountain. There, Charles told us some of the history of the site, which is called P’KOLS by local First Nations. The name means “white head,” which may refer to the location where glaciers last receded from Vancouver Island. Located on W̱SÁNEĆ territory and bordering on Lkwungen territory, the site is an important meeting place for the local First Nations.
P’KOLS was also the location of the signing of the Douglas Treaty, which the local peoples understood to be a peace treaty, but which in fact stripped them of their land. Recently the First Nations have reclaimed the name P’KOLS for this site, and at the top sits a sign adorned with Charles Elliott’s carving.
If you wish to read more about P’KOLS, you can visit: http://crdcommunitygreenmap.ca/story/history-pkols-mount-douglas
A big “thank you” to Charles for his time and for sharing some of the history of the site. He has also been kind enough to donate a beautiful print to our silent auction, which runs from May 17th to 24th. Be sure to visit the auction and take a look!
Roberta MacDonald, Principal