I was asked to photograph the people of the Songhees Nation for a book commemorating the opening of their new Wellness Centre. It is a magnificent space born to inspire wellbeing. As a photographer, I felt privileged capturing the story of the Songhees today. I worked closely with Connie Watts, an inspirational designer and artist. Beth Dick, Christina Clarke, Director of Operations for the Songhees Nation and Songhees Chief Ron Sam all taught, guided and inspired me. I met and photographed many amazing people and their faces and stories will remain with me for a long time. The Songhees Wellness Centre is an incredible accomplishment.
A bronze casting by Songhees carver Butch Dick represents an enlarged “spindle whorl”. There are several spindle whorl “sculptures” placed around Victoria at significant historical settings originally home to the Songhees. Spindle whorls often have sophisticated carved designs featuring the supernatural, human, and animal. The whorl was placed on a wooden spindle to add the weight needed to maintain the spinning motion, and to prevent the wool from falling off the rod as it was being spun.
I thank the Songhees Nation for the opportunity to be part of a wonderful new undertaking and a new chapter in their history. The Songhees Wellness Centre is located at 1100 Admirals Road, Victoria and welcomes all.
All photographs by Nancy Angermeyer; all rights reserved Songhees First Nations