Published On: August 28, 2017 | By |


VICTORIA – On September 16, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership is proud to host the tenth anniversary of One Wave Gathering, an international Indigenous arts celebration on Lekwungen territory.

This milestone will be marked by an unprecedented symbolic public art installation. Four temporary longhouse structures (twenty feet in height) will be raised on the Legislature lawn, a historic Lekwungen village site. Under the direction of contemporary Nuu-chah-nulth artist Hjalmer Wenstob, four youth will create the house fronts in the styles of Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and South Pacific traditions. The structures are being raised with the support of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations and the BC Legislature, in collaboration with MediaNet.

“The Longhouse Project is a way to create a space of coming together and sharing,” said Wenstob. “Through the action of putting up these four houses on the Legislature lawn, an old Lekwungen village site, we want to bring people of all walks of life together to celebrate and share stories, truths, songs, dances and cultures. We’re inviting people into our houses to come together and share, the way family and friends come together around the dining room table.”

The public is invited to experience The Longhouse Project and free cultural celebrations on the Legislature lawn on Saturday, September 16 from 10am to 5pm. The day will feature dance presentations from the Lekwungen Dancers, Esquimalt Singers and Dancers, Pearls of the South Pacific, Tusitala Polynesian Dance Group, Ahousaht Dance Group and Kwakiutl Dancers.

Visitors are welcome to explore interactive displays, educational activities and cultural sharing with Elders and artists including Victoria’s Indigenous Artist in Residence, Lindsay Delaronde. The Iroquois Mohawk artist will lead a participatory “Human Loom” arts activity in which people of many backgrounds will join hands to weave a large blanket together. Delaronde will also produce a collaborative live art piece with Nahaan, a multidisciplinary artist of Tlingit, Inupiaq and Paiute descent.

Visitors can even join in a public game of Slahal, a bone game that in years past was an important fixture for relationship building in the local economy.

“This is an exciting opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to not just learn about meaningful reconciliation, but to actively participate in it,” said April Ingham, Executive Director of Pacific Peoples’ Partnership. “By bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, One Wave Gathering is a welcoming and positive space to share in the spirit of healing and celebration.”

“This really brings into perspective all that we love: the teachings, the culture, the language, and to me, this brings back the equality and respect,” said Joan Morris, Songhees Elder. “We as a Nation have always stood as one. Residential schools and hospitals caused a major division. I would dearly love to see unity again.”

Formerly known as One Wave Festival, One Wave Gathering celebrates International Pacific community, arts, and culture. It is a gathering of many communities from the North and South Pacific who, guided by their unique customs, protocols, and histories, are coming together in the spirit of healing and relationship. It is a vision articulated together by many voices with the consent of hereditary and elected leaders, elders, youth, artists and community members.

Pacific Peoples’ Partnership is Canada’s only non-profit organization dedicated to the South Pacific. For over forty years, Pacific Peoples’ Partnership has acted in solidarity with peoples of the North and South Pacific to promote their aspirations for peace, justice, health, and environmental sustainability.

More information on One Wave Gathering can be found at



For inquiries regarding the Longhouse Project:

Hjalmer Wenstob
Nuu-Chah-Nulth Contemporary Artist


For quotes regarding One Wave Gathering:

April Ingham
Executive Director
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership

Eli Enns
Board Member
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership

For background information on One Wave Gathering:

Siobhan Powlowski
Deputy Director
Pacific Peoples’ Partnership


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  200-764 Yates Street, Victoria BC