When you walk into the new Chilliwack YMCA and pass the turnstiles, you’ll notice a new addition to the centre of community: a traditional Stó:lō house post. This beautifully carved house post, which Chief Terry Horne of the Yakweakwioose First Nations created, isn’t there for aesthetic reasons—there is meaningful intention behind its installation.
During the months leading up to the reopening of the new centre of community, the leadership team recognized the importance of having local indigenous representation at the Y. Upon a recommendation from a Chilliwack artist, the team reached out to Chief Horne, a Coast Salish artist who was born and raised in Chilliwack, to see if he would be interested in creating a Stó:lō house post for the new Y. He accepted immediately!
When asked about the inspiration behind his vision for the house post, Chief Horne said, “I drew inspiration from the YMCA’s mission statement. My vision was to reflect the mission statement; most notably, strengthening the community’s foundation.”
On April 12th, 2019, after months of hard work, the house post was installed at the new Y. The installation of the house post is both exciting and significant. It serves as a symbol of acknowledgment that the centre of community lies on traditional and ancestral territory. It’s also an important symbol for reconciliation, as well as local indigenous representation.
To commemorate the installation, the Chilliwack YMCA and Chief Horne will be hosting a traditional blessing ceremony in the coming weeks.