Vaughn Warren will begin carving his next sculpture in January.
The piece will memorialize missing and murdered women, girls and LGBTQ+ individuals and will be titled Let Their Spirit Soar.
Skeetchestn Indian Band commissioned the Kamloops artist to complete the sculpture that, sometime after September 2020, will be installed near the band’s Big Sky facility on Highway 1 near Savona.
Warren specializes in large wood sculptures. His other work includes the River Pole, erected on the corner of Columbia Street and Summit Drive in Sahali and pieces created from tree trunks.
His media for the sculpture will be a massive cedar log from Gilbert Smith Forest Products in Barriere.
The band received a $50,000 grant from the federal Ministry for Women and Gender Equality to create the sculpture. Its design was conceived with input from community members and “extensive collaboration” with Skeetchestn elders.
“The helical design includes the form of a gender-neutral warrior striking a decorated drum with a powerful drumstick, sounding the alarm, calling for justice and rallying the spirits of the living and dead with an honour song,” Warren said in a release to media.
The public is welcome to watch Warren in action at the Skeetchestn Indian Band Public Works facility during visiting hours, which will be posted online in the coming weeks.