Student's totem to go on display at Vancouver airport
A young boy checks out Hjalmer Wenstob's nearly completed totem during an unveiling on Meares Island, B.C., May 12, 2012. The completed totem will be on display at Vancouver International Airport beginning Friday for the next year.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, May 24, 2012 9:25AM EDT
TOFINO, B.C. - A nearly two-metre-tall totem that tells a tale about cultural acceptance is going on display at Vancouver International Airport.
The totem was carved by 19-year-old Hjalmer Wenstob, a University of Victoria student and member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island.
Wenstob says the totem tells the story of a direct ancestor who was forced to survive a life-threatening challenge partly because he was albino.
Bruce Byfield of the YVR Art Foundation says Wenstob is one of several First Nations scholarship winners who will unveil their work at the airport Friday.
Byfield says some of the strongest art being created in the province right now is being produced by First Nations.
The totem is not the first work of art for Wenstob, who carved a traditional canoe and helped carve a totem while still in high school.