Shore to Shore

Ts’uts’umult Luke Marston. Cedar cast in bronze.

Representing “Portuguese Joe” Silvey (1828–1902) and his two Indigenous wives: Khaltinat (Musqueam / Squamish, granddaughter of Chief Joe Capilano) and Kwatleematt / Lucy (Sechelt). They are wearing traditional headdresses of their respective peoples, and holding tools for mending nets, while Joe holds a whaling harpoon. The fish at his feet represent the 11 children they had together. Other symbolism includes: the structure’s three legs for the three local First Nations, and the mosaic stones are imported from Portugal.

The Silveys were just one of several families of mixed Portuguese, Scots and Indigenous heritage living together in a settlement called X̲wáýx̲way at that very spot in Stanley Park, though the government was doing its best to force them all out.

As the guide told us, this is the only statue in Vancouver representing specific women.

Interesting fact: there are over 500 descendants of Portuguese Joe currently living, including this piece’s artist.

11 September 2019

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