A six-tonne petroglyph rock that has been in Vancouver since 1926 will be making its journey back to its original home.
“It’s been 86 years since the petroglyph rock was taken without our consent from our traditional area,” said Hank Adam, Chief of the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, in a statement.
“For (us), it means a sense of empowerment for us to finally have a voice as to the future of this sacred petroglyph rock,” Adam said. “It is an exciting time for our community. We look forward to the rock’s journey home.”
Prospector H.S. Brown discovered the three-by-five boulder in 1926 on the east bank of the Fraser River near Crow’s Bar. He brought it to the attention of a park board chair, who arranged for it to be moved to Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
It took a team of 10 horses a month to drag the boulder over the mountains to the railhead near Clinton, B.C. It lived in Stanley Park for years until it was moved to the Museum of Vancouver in 1992.
The petroglyph will start its journey June 12 and will be placed in Churn Creek Protected Area on June 13.
Repatriation co-ordinator Phyllis Webstad said the images on the rock could’ve been done by boys when they were doing their first rites of passage from boyhood to manhood sometime between the 1500 to 1800s.
It also could’ve been a boundary marker in one of their villages, she said.