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PHOTOS: Kwikwetlem First Nation raises house post at new mental health and addictions centre in Coquitlam

A 600 year-old western red cedar log has been turned into a house post to welcome visitors to the new Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in Coquitlam.

A  600 year-old western red cedar tree that was blown over in a storm in the Coquitlam River watershed has been given a new life as a house post welcoming visitors to the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.

At a ceremony Wednesday to bless the post, Kwantlen Nation artist Brandon Gabriel explained the ancient log is a perfect medium for the post as it comes from an area where the Kwikwetlem people upon whose territory it resides sourced their water and the salmon they relied on for food started and finished their lives.

Gabriel said the post tells the story of the Kwikwetlem people and the great blue heron colony that watched over them, the Warrior Spirit that protected their land as well as their connection to the land and sea.

The Red Fish Healing Centre, which is located on the Riverview Lands in Coqutilam, is scheduled to officially open this fall with 105 beds for people dealing with mental health and addiction challenges.