Salt Spring Island Archives

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First Nations of Salt Spring Island

Fernwood Panel

Mike Charlie, former Penelakut Sulxwe’en Chair and friend to the Salt Spring community of supporters
This page is dedicated to the memory of Mike Charlie, former Penelakut Sulxwe’en Chair and friend to the Salt Spring community of supporters.

The Indigenous Interpretive Panel project for Salt Spring Island originally began with consultations with local Elders in 2019. The CRD and Salt Spring Foundation both provided seed money to begin the process of having discussions with, and most importantly, forming relationships with, local Nation representatives. The idea for the individual Penelakut panel came after Donna Martin, long time friend and ally of the Penelakut Sulxwe’en, passed away suddenly in 2020. Her daughter Tara Martin wanted to honour her mother’s connections with Penelakut Elders and to help uphold the Penelakut connection to Salt Spring. A Donna Martin Legacy fund was launched and Salt Spring rallied as usual. The Salt Spring Historical Society & Archives received a second generous grant from the Salt Spring Foundation to begin the good work with Penelakut and other Elders to produce a total of six Indigenous Interpretive Panels.

The panel statements are almost entirely from the Elders and all of the text has been translated by language knowledge keepers into Hul'qumi'num or SENĆOŦEN as appropriate to match the panel text. We hope that you will visit the panels, learn from the words presented there, and as the Elders have instructed us, “educate yourselves”. Learning and understanding are first steps toward reconciliation.

Here are some photos of the relationship building that was and remains, a good part of the process:

Visit at Fernwood Cafe March 2020
Visit at Fernwood Cafe March 2020
Penelakut signage visit
Penelakut signage visit
Meeting at the Fernwood dock
Fernwood panel mock-up
Fernwood panel mock-up
Meeting on Penelakut Island with the Sulxwe’en (Elder’s Council) July 2020
Meeting on Penelakut Island with the Sulxwe’en (Elder’s Council) July 2020
Meeting on Penelakut Island with the Sulxwe’en (Elder’s Council) July 2020
Walker Hook, August 2020
Walker Hook, August 2020
Penelakut Elders met with Phil Vernon and Christina Marshall at Chemainus in January 2022.<br> 
	Left to right:  Phil Vernon, August Sylvester, Mike Charlie, Myrus James<br> 
	(Not shown in photograph:  James Charlie and Marya Sylvester)
Penelakut Elders met with Phil Vernon and Christina Marshall at Chemainus in January 2022.
Left to right: Phil Vernon, August Sylvester, Mike Charlie, Myrus James
(Not shown in photograph: James Charlie and Marya Sylvester)
Penelakut elders
Shannon Cowan (Salt Spring Foundation), Mike Charlie, James Charlie, Myrus James, Alison Bain (Fernwood School), Phil Vernon and Maggie Ziegler meet at the Salt Spring Library, November 2021.
Shannon Cowan (Salt Spring Foundation), Mike Charlie, James Charlie, Myrus James, Alison Bain (Fernwood School), Phil Vernon and Maggie Ziegler meet at the Salt Spring Library, November 2021.
August 2020 - at the proposed panel site
August 2020 - at the proposed panel site
Penelakut Sulxwe’en, Adult Learners and community members
photo
Penelakut Sulxwe’en, Adult Learners and community members
same as above photo plus Penelakut Sampson/Irwin relatives
… plus Penelakut Sampson/Irwin relatives
same as above photo plus the Salt Spring Island panel project team
… and with the Salt Spring Island panel project team
Fernwood Panel unveiling - Salt Spring Arts photo
Salt Spring Arts photo

All these community members and businesses helped to fund*/create/celebrate these panels to honour the speakers, the artists and the local First Nation peoples …
* directly or with favourable pricing

Salt Spring Foundation
Salt Spring Historical Society & Archives
Tara Martin - Donna Martin Legacy Fund
Mouats Trading Company
Salt Spring Arts Council
Phil Vernon Design
Torus Metalworks - Todd Beatson
Logs to Lumber - Shane O’Donnell
Windsor Plywood - Jessica Harkema
Owen Page - Ministry of Transportation
Dan’s Crane Service Ltd - Dan Child
Peninsula Signs
Barb’s Buns
TJ Beans
Thrifty Foods
Country Grocer
Salt Spring Public Library Reconciliation Book Club
CRD - Gary Holman - Phase One funding
CRD - Dan Ovington - Consultation
Fernwood Elementary School
Fernwood Cafe - Shaun Luttin
Museum of Vancouver
Royal BC Museum
Tom Vergalen - TTV Signs
Eric Booth - Manager, Ganges Alley
Brian Smallshaw - Archives Website Coordinator
Russell Hardy
David Grayson
Sharon Bywater
Ron Crawford
Dave Toynbee
John & Debbie Cade

With gratitude from the project team:
Chris Marshall, Phil Vernon, Maggie Ziegler and Ceridwen Ross-Collins