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Galaxy Motors Duncan – Totem Ceremony & Vancouver Island Scholarship Program

On Sunday, September 25th, Galaxy Motors will be hosting a very special event at our Duncan location.

You may have caught some of our press or social media regarding the renovation of our dealership. You may have also noticed some imagery related to the 30 foot Native Totem pole that is being carved at the same location by the renowned local elder and carver Harold Joe of the Cowichan First Nation, and his team. It’s difficult to find words to describe how honoured we feel to have this exceptional artist and storyteller creating this totem for us. And so we would like for you to be there for the raising ceremony.


In conjunction with the Totem raising ceremony and fostering community with the Cowichan Tribe, we will also be announcing the creation of the Galaxy Foundation group of scholarships for Vancouver Island youth. These scholarships have been established in partnership with Vancouver Island University (VIU), Camosun College, and North Island College (NIC) who have all agreed to match our contributions dollar for dollar. These partnerships will create a long lasting connection between our organizations and the local communities that surround these post-secondary facilities.

We are extremely thankful to the following institutions for partnering with us on this initiative:

North Island University


Nanaimo Campus

4 x $1000 scholarships per year Faculty of Trades & Applied Technology – Automotive Technician

Cowichan Campus

1 x $1000 scholarship per year Faculty of Trades & Applied Technology – Culinary
1 x $1000 scholarship per year – Adult Basic Education
40 x $50 scholarships per year – Adult Basic Education reserve fund

Camosun College


2 x $1000 scholarships per year – Adult Basic Education
2 x $1000 scholarships per year – Automotive Technician

North Island College


Campbell River Campus

2 x $1000 scholarships per year – Automotive Technician

Comox Campus

2 x $1000 scholarship per year – Adult Basic education

A Totem Story Carved in Wood

There is remarkable symbolism that exists in each and every Totem pole. Each one tells a story, each totem represents a symbol of First Nation culture and history. The carving currently underway at our Duncan location is no different. We’d like to take a moment to share a few words from master carver and Cowichan Elder, Harold Joe, about the story that can be read through the totems carved in the cedar.

Family Totem Pole:

Thunderbird – Beaver with Baby – Killer Whale – Frog

The Thunderbird
The Native symbol or Totem the Thunderbird symbolizes power, protection, and strength. Thunderbird is a mythical creature that is said to be the dominating force of all nature activity Located in the Pacific North West Mountains, the Thunderbird creates booms of thunder by flapping his wings. And shoots bolts of lightning from his eyes, when hunters got too close to his home.

The Thunderbird resembles the Eagle but is distinguished by the two curved horns of Plumage on his head, Long ago the Natives pleaded to the Thunderbird for help in times of food shortage, he helps, but the returns requesting that from then on he only be depicted at the top of a totem pole with wings stretched out. That is why on many Northwest Coast totem poles, the Thunderbird is carved on top of the pole.

The Beaver
Busy as the Beaver Persistent in work and fun. Beaver also shows me how to use the things at hand to reach my goals. Balancing work and pleasure. The Beaver totem reminds us that we ‘have to act on our dreams to make them a reality. If this totem has entered your life, ask yourself: Am I lost in my dreams and not acting upon them? When it shows up, it is time for action. Beaver can show you how to construct wonderful dreams! Beaver also sets the example of team work, and to feature this in your work life and family life. Dreams are easier to build with a team helping.

The Killer Whale
Whales represent communication, music, maternal instinct, and emotional sensitivity. Whales have a distinct sound and use their “songs” to communicate with one another. Whale are excellent mothers and are very protective of their young, keeping them very close to them while swimming. Mother whales are sometimes observed playing with their young and demanding affection.

The Frog
The Frog totem is the totem of metamorphosis. It symbolizes coming into to personal power, It reminds us not to become bogged down with day to day living. It is the totem of water, it’s voice calls forth the rain. Emotions are associated with water and a frog totem may be telling you to get in touch with your feelings. People with Frog medicine give support and energy where it is needed.

This was an excerpt from the Totem Storyboard. Please join us at Galaxy Motors on Sunday, September 25 along with Elder Harold Joe and all of us for the Totem blessing and raising ceremony. As well, let’s congratulate the recipients of the inaugural Galaxy Foundation scholarship series.


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