Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region


Signs of Lekwungen - Beacon Hill "Lookout" Site by Butch Dick

Signs of Lekwungen - Beacon Hill "Lookout" Site by Butch Dick
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Artwork DescriptionCulturally significant site to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. This is one of seven markers created with circular bronze casts of original cedar carvings. This artwork depicts the spindle whorl, a tool traditionally used by Coast Salish women to spin wool - considered to be the foundation of a Coast Salish family. The concept for the base was developed by Heritage Planner Richard Linzey. The base's top is inscribed with the traditional place name, phonetically in Lekwungen as well as English.
Artwork StatementThe lookout area at Beacon Hill Park is callled MEE-qan, which means "warmed by the sun". This seaward slope was a popular place for rest and play. A game similar to field hockey, called Coqwialls, was played here. At the bottom of the hill was a small palisaded village that was occupied intermittently until approximatley 300 years ago. The settlement was for defence during times of war and it was also important for reef net fishing. The starchy bulbs of the wildflower, camas, were an important food source gathered in this area.

About Butch Dick

Artist BioButch Dick is a master carver trained in fine art and graphic design. He has taught First Nations Art and Culture in School District 61 for more than 20 years and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria, teaching an Indigenous Learning course. Butch Dick also trained his two sons, Clarence Dick Jr. and Bradley Dick in the art of carving. Father and sons work closely together on aboriginal art projects.


Artwork TypeFirst Nations
MediumCarving: close-grain red cedar was used to carve the whorls. Bronze castings: made as a disk, anchored to a brown powder-coated aluminum pole.
Unveiled dateSeptember 30, 2008
Dimensionssite marker 2.5 metres in height
Reference #3850
SiteBeacon Hill Park - south side hilltop near the summit of Beacon Hill Loop
Art CategoryCivic Public Art
Selection ProcessCivic: Invitational / Commissioned
Municipality/NeighbourhoodVictoria: James Bay



Type of Artwork