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The Eagle's significance in many First Nations stories is that Eagle is used to represent perception and spiritual connection. Eagle feathers and down are sacred: traditionally, Shamans believed in their healing powers and used them in a variety of ceremonial and ritual contexts, such as honouring a respected guest. Eagle's down symbolized good luck, peace, welcome and friendship.
Salmon is a symbol of abundance, wealth and prosperity because it is the primary food source for Northwest Coastal people, representing the ability to provide for your family. Salmons are Supernatural beings who give up their life to feed our people. We hold them in high esteem and honour their return every year. Out of respect, ceremonies are often held by the Northwest Coast people to celebrate the return of the Salmon to their traditional spawning grounds.
Gerry Sheena started carving in 1988 and carves almost exclusively in yellow and red cedar. He received much of his training from his brother, Roger Swakum. Since 1998, Gerry has been mentoring youth while creating works of public art. Among these projects is the gateway for the Collingwood Neighbourhood House and a 21-foot totem pole for a housing complex in Vancouver, BC. In 2017, Gerry became an Artist in Residence at Vancouver's Skwachàys Lodge.