Cedar Connection


(Domestic Arrivals, Canada Line Platform)

Artist: SUSAN A. POINT, Musqueam, 2009

This contemporary art sculpture is a reflection of what Sea Island once looked like, and a representation of the First People and their relationship to the great rainforest and the Fraser River.

The main body of the artwork represents an old-growth tree stump, with a flowing waterline motif along the vertical contour of the inside edges, representing the river. Inside the sculpture is a tufted weaving pattern that represents the tapestry of life and reflects Musqueam’s use of cedar in the weaving of basketry, mats, hats and clothing. The Musqueam people used cedar in all aspects of life for houses, canoes, implements and spindle whorls.

The Owl and the human face within the tree stump both relate to the oral tradition within Salish culture. The Owl is the keeper of wisdom and a messenger within the story of life. There are many Salish legends surrounding the Owl, particularly in connection with this location, and although many stories have been lost in the time following European contact, the Owl is a reminder of who the Musqueam people are.

The human face on the tail side of the sculpture is a tribute to Dominic Point, a great Musqueam storyteller, who was an inspiration and educator for Susan as she began her work as an artist.

Assembled from western red cedar, the old growth tree stump speaks to the circle of life, and to the sustenance given from old growth to new growth. Mother Earth depends on the recycling of old growth; the great rainforest would not exist without the life that went on before it.

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