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Musqueam welcome totem
August 29, 2017
1 min read

Discover your place: The Musqueam Post

Indigenous Art Series

Standing tall at the eastern entrance to campus, the Musqueam Post, sʔi:ɬqəy̓ qeqən (double-headed serpent post), welcomes all visitors to UBC.

Carved by talented Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow Jr., the post’s iconography depicts the fascinating story behind the Musqueam’s traditional name: xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

The story goes that a long time ago a double-headed serpent (sʔi:ɬqəy̓) fertilized this particular area, resulting in a unique plant—məθkʷəy̓—flourishing. Subsequently, the people themselves became known as xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam—People of the məθkʷəy̓ plant).

The Musqueam Post passes on this knowledge and reaffirms the Musqueam’s continued connection to this part of their traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory, which spans much of Metro Vancouver.

“This beautiful post will serve as a permanent welcome to all visitors to these grounds and as a reminder of our relationship with the Musqueam people who were here long before UBC’s history began.” - Former UBC President, Martha Piper. 

Learn more about the Musqueam Post and how to pronounce sʔi:ɬqəy̓ qeqən. You can also learn more about the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people here.

Additinally, you can read about the Musqueam House Post of qiyǝplenǝxʷ (Capilano) here.


Indigenous Art Series: Find out where you can view Indigenous art on campus and the story behind each piece by checking out the interactive map.