Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region


Unity Pole by Charles W. Elliott

Unity Pole by Charles W. Elliott
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Artwork DescriptionThe totem was carved by Coast Salish artist Charles W. Elliott and apprentice Barry Samis "as a symbol and pledge of unity made by the Victoria Police, First Nations, and people of all colours on this day. Let us build in unity the world of our millenium, enriched by this diversity and strengthened by the spirit of compassion." Chief Robert Sam of the Songhees Nation and Chief of Police Paul Battersill welcomed over 1,000 guests at the dedication ceremony. Collaboration between Victoria Police Department and the Songhees Nation.

About Charles W. Elliott

DatesBrentwood Bay, BC
Artist BioMaster carver Charles W. Elliott grew up on the Tsartlip First Nations reserve in Brentwood Bay, BC, near Victoria, and began learning how to paint, draw and carve at a young age. Although self-taught, Elliott played a large role in reviving the Coast Salish art discipline by dedicating himself to the mastering this tradition of Native art for four decades. He has created many artworks throughout his career, from traditional carvings such as masks to paintings, prints, graphics, contemporary sculptures and utilitarian objects. Elliott's renown is evident in the numerous works in private collections around the world. He carved the Queen's baton used in the Commonwealth Games in 1994, and he was commissioned to create a Talking Stick that was given to Nelson Mandela. Elliott also lectures at various levels of education, teaches youth, and mentors emerging artists. A leader within his community, he volunteers many hours to promote cultural education and Salish art. He was awarded the prestigious Order of British Columbia in 2005.


Artwork TypeFirst Nations
MediumCarving, paint
Unveiled dateJuly 08, 1999
Reference #3743
SiteVictoria Police Department, 850 Caledonia Street
Art CategoryCivic Public Art
Selection ProcessCivic: Invitational / Commissioned
Municipality/NeighbourhoodVictoria: North Park



Type of Artwork