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Coast Salish portal

Source: Leanne Guenther, © used with permission

Three beautifully carved, red cedar portals welcome visitors to the Brockton Point Visitor Centre and to the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people. Their form represents the traditional slant-roof style of Coast Salish architecture. The gateways show the history and thriving modern culture of Coast Salish people.

Salish Dancer and Killer Whale - Visible from the seawall and park drive north, the third portal articulates the evolution of Salish design. A Coast Salish Dancer shows a human figure holding a sea serpent rattle and above it, the Thunderbird, the most powerful of all spirits and a symbol of protection. On the opposite face of the Dancer, tree roots connect us to the land, sea and sky. The Killer Whale upright depicts five whales, each with a raven fin and salmon pectoral, representing the close link between humans and orcas. The Salish believe that when great chiefs die, they become killer whales. The crossbeam is carved with a Salish textile motif.

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