The 6-foot-tall memorial cedar and copper totem pole designed by James Harry has now been unveiled in UBC Mechanical Engineering department’s main entrance.
The totem depicts animals that would be comfortable in sea, land and air- a representation of all of the elements that the engineering department considers in their designs. The natural elements of cedar, copper and depiction of the hummingbird, wolf, salmon and beaver all are important figures in West Coast Salish tradition. The practical and spiritual elements come together in a beautiful piece which is a representation of both the history of the UBC lands as well as the knowledge and purpose of the university- fostering a community of collaboration and inclusiveness.
The copper for the sheath of the totem was waterjet cut, rolled and fabricated by Brenco. The copper totem was then wrapped around a hand carved yellow cedar log and placed atop a bentwood box both designed and carved by James Harry.
For more details on the importance of this piece please go to the article posted on the University of British Columbia’s website