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Museum curator reunites Indigenous veteran with artwork 62 years later – the Hosaqami connection – Lookout Newspaper

Sep 23, 2022

A recent presentation at CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum led to the return of an item to the hands of its crafter 62 years later.

Following Lieutenant-Commander (Retired) Bill Shead’s presentation on Hosaqami, a historic 24-foot totem pole, Tatiana Robinson, Museum Curator, brought his attention to one of the Museum’s artifacts.

“What a delight it was to see it and hold it again after 12 years of not knowing its final disposition,” Shead, 83, said after confirming a lance Robinson pointed out was indeed the one he carved so many years ago. “It was quite a surprise to learn the lance was in good hands of a museum curator after all this time.”

Shead, an Indigenous veteran, visited CFB Esquimalt on Aug. 29 to speak about the intriguing story of Hosaqami. This totem pole was given to the Royal Navy in 1960, and Shead was on the voyage to England as one of the Special Escort of the Hosaqami delivery on HMCS St. Croix. On his journey, he and his mates carved and decorated mop handles to create lances for the ceremonial presentation on arrival in England.

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