Sidney town crier Kenny Podmore and carver Mark Henry hold up the scroll Henry created for Podmore. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney town crier Kenny Podmore and carver Mark Henry hold up the scroll Henry created for Podmore. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney’s town crier ready with new Indigenous scroll

Mark Henry of the Pauquachin First Nation carved the piece

Sidney’s town crier Kenny Podmore said an Indigenous-themed scroll made by wood carver Mark Henry of the Pauquachin First Nation is part and parcel of his contribution to the truth and reconciliation process.

“I’m just honoured and blessed that Mark did this for me,” said Podmore. “It’s my way of understanding truth and reconciliation.” Within this context, he pointed out that he starts his proclamations with a territorial acknowledgement of the WSANEC people if on the Saanich Peninsula or the respective First Nations when outside of it.

The scroll consists of two end pieces made of western cedar. Eagle heads representing vision adorn the top end, while bear heads representing strength and power adorn the bottom. The imprint of a full moon representing the breadth of emotions adorns the leather parchment.

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Henry said it took about a month or so to make the piece, which he hopes will educate Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth about Coast Salish art, history and storytelling.

Podmore said he has not yet used the scroll, but he hopes to use it during the Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade later this year.

“I have had to apply to my position as town crier again (and) it may be that, if I am successful, that I would use it during the inauguration of the new mayor and council,” said Podmore.

Podmore and Henry also share a personal connection as it was Podmore who officiated the marriage of Henry and his wife almost eight years ago. “I’m so proud that I met Mark. It’s all about building relationships,” he said.

Henry agreed. “It’s important for all of us to be caring and loving in this world,” he said. “I would really like to see a lot of that to come back and to look out for each other.”


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