Ceremony to be held for sculpture of wolf stqéyə (Staqeya) at Cattle Point
The District of Oak Bay along with the Songhees Nation will come together Thursday, October 5 at 10:00 am PST to honour the sculpture of the wolf stqéyə (Staqeya), installed at Cattle Point in Oak Bay.
The Soul of a Wolf sculpture, created by well-known stone sculptor Kent Laforme, honours Staqeya, the wolf who spent much of his life off the coast of Oak Bay on Songhees Nation lands known as Chatham (Stsnaang) and Discovery (Skingeenis) islands.
“The Songhees Nation is honoured to see the sculpture of Stqéyə being raised in Oak Bay. Stqéyə represents a great leader for the Nation, late Chief Robert Sam. Due to the arrival of the Wolf to Tl’ches days after his passing, as a community, we felt as if this was our late Chief returning to watch over and protect us,” said Chief Ron Sam.
“Chief Sam led by example and fought for our People, with a focus to our future generations. This sculpture is more than an art piece, it represents the unwavering strength of a great Chief. As said by Chief Robert Sam, ‘We’re laying down a foundation for the future, social, cultural, and economical being of our people.’”
The artwork stands as a memorial to honour the wolf Staqeya. In 2012, Staqeya braved the strong ocean currents and swam to Tl’Ches, also known as Chatham (Stsnaang) and Discovery (Skingeenis) islands. After living there for a period, Staqeya swam to Victoria in 2020 and was subsequently relocated and killed by a hunter.
The sculpture also pays homage to the late Songhees Nation Chief Robert Sam (1936-2012), a survivor of the Kamloops Residential School at Tk'emlps te Secwépemc. Staqeya arrived on Tl"ches soon after the Chief passed away, offering a source of strength to the Songhees Nation and a sign the Chief was still with them.
“This sculpture will help bring the important story of Stqéyə and our natural surroundings to residents and visitors alike,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch. “The District looks forward to honouring this important sculpture alongside the Songhees Nation.”
The marble sculpture is carved from a locally sourced glacier erratic boulder that was pushed up onto the forest floor. Carvings in the sculpture share stories, and an opening offers a view of Chatham (Stsnaang) and Discovery (Skingeenis) islands where Staqeya spent much of his time. Oak Bay Parks, along with local experts on native endangered plants, identified the Cattle Point site to be used as a natural and accessible gallery.
The ceremony, open to the public, will be held at Cattle Point on Thursday, October 5 at 10:00 am PST.