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Vancouver Island University – Unveiling of an incredible exhibit on Pentlatch fish traps at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station

Vancouver Island University – Unveiling of an incredible exhibit on Pentlatch fish traps at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station
Vancouver Island University – Unveiling of an incredible exhibit on Pentlatch fish traps at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station

From left to right: Candace Newman, elected councillor for K’ómoks First Nation, Michael Recalma, elected chief councillor for Qualicum First Nation and Dr. Deborah Saucier, VIU President and Vice Chancellor, stand next to the aquarium with the 550-year-old fish trap panel.

An important Pentlatch cultural artifact excavated by the K’ómoks First Nation and archaeological collaborators will be open to the public for the next six months at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

At 550 years old, the fish trap panel is an incredible and enduring example of Pentlatch cultural ingenuity. It is the largest and most complete of its kind on the Northwest Coast, and possibly the world. It is approximately 20 feet long and 28 inches wide, with 13 long slats and nine vertical support slats, tied together with plant fiber rope.

The panel was made by Pentlatch Ancestors of the K’ómok and Qualicum First Nations and was one of approximately 78 panels used in a single winged chevron trap for catching salmon. The panel provides a window into the advanced knowledge and unique cultural innovations of the Pentlatch peoples.

Read the full press release