Burnaby and Tsleil-Waututh come together to celebrate relationship with new public art

Last updated: October 18, 2023

The City of Burnaby and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation) will come together in ceremony for k̓ʷə səlilwətaɬ syəwenəɬ ct - Our Tsleil-Waututh Ancestors, a new public art piece created by Jonas Jones.

This work was commissioned for Burnaby City Hall to honour the relationship between the City of Burnaby and səlilwətaɬ. Conceived as a carving in the style of a traditional Coast Salish house post, the work brings a two-sided wolf design in relief carving and metal. Designed as a marker for this civic and community space, the wolf is the emblem of the səlilwətaɬ.

“As we continue to develop and deepen the relationship between səlilwətaɬ and the City of Burnaby, we are honoured to be able to showcase this incredible piece of public art at City Hall,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “Ensuring that our civic space reflects the rich history and culture of this land is another important step towards reconciliation, and we are grateful to Jonas Jones for his outstanding work.” 

“Art is an important part of who we are, embedded in Tsleil-Waututh culture. We are thrilled that the powerful carving of Tsleil-Waututh member Jonas Jones will be showcased at the City of Burnaby for everyone to enjoy. This is a good step forward in putting the face of Tsleil-Waututh Nation back on our traditional territory and continuing to strengthen our relationship with the City of Burnaby,” said Chief Jen Thomas, səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation).

The ceremony will take place at City Hall (4949 Canada Way) on October 25, from 1 to 3:30 pm, and everyone is welcome to attend. 

About the artist 

Jonas Jones (TsuKwalton) comes from the village of Átsnach (Tsleil-Waututh) with strong bloodlines running from Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) as well. He is grateful for teachers such as Ses Siyam (Ray Natraoro), who taught him to indulge within the Coast Salish laws of art, a system that is passed down from master carver to apprentice. He is honoured to be practising this craft, as this foundation of art and way of life has been running through his blood for thousands of years. “To live and breathe a little piece of the old people, our swa7am (ancestors), is truly a beautiful thing.” 

Media Contact:
Chris Bryan
Manager, Public Affairs
Public Affairs Office
604-570-3616 | [email protected]

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