Kekinusuqs, Dr. Judith Sayers was officially sworn in as Vancouver Island University chancellor in June, in a ceremony that paid tribute to VIU’s commitment to reconciliation and reflected the culture of the Coast Salish.
Judith is President of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and a long time Indigenous rights and sustainable development advocate. She is also an active board member of the BC Achievement Foundation and has helped develop BC’s first Reconciliation Award, launched less than a year ago by BC Achievement and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.
The swearing in ceremony was held outdoors on the Good family property, with Snuneymuxw First Nation members and councillors present to witness the event, along with the many who watched the event online. Joining Judith was VIU President Dr. Deborah Saucier, who was installed in the Snuneymuxw First Nation longhouse in November 2019.
The Good family has more connections to the ceremony than just the land they were gathered on. Ay Lelum – The Good House of Design, designed and produced new ceremonial regalia for both Chancellor Sayers and President Saucier. These included a custom cape, headband and frontlet for each.
Ay Lelum, awardees of the Indigenous Business Award in 2018 are sisters, Aunalee Boyd-Good and Sophia Seward-Good and they are a second-generation Coast Salish Design House from Nanaimo.
“These regalia fuse the formality of traditional convocation ceremony robes with beautiful elements of Coast Salish art, culture, history and tradition. It’s an honour and a privilege to be involved in this monumental, historical and ground-breaking project.” said Aunalee.
Ay Lelum design and produce clothing and fabric patterns featuring traditional Coast Salish Art. The regalia design and production was managed by Aunalee and Sophia, lead design was by their mother, Sandra Moorhouse-Good, the frontlets and button fasteners were carved by their father William Good and their brother Joel Good, and the headbands were woven by their niece Thea Harris – making this a true family business.
Congratulations to Judith on her installation as Chancellor of VIU and to Ay Lelum for elevating the ceremonial regalia with their distinctive designs.
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