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Story of Harpoon Rock

harpoonrock 2 IMG_0359Story of Harpoon Rock

Sahsima, meaning “harpoon”, is the Songhees First Nation’s name for the glacial erratic deposited around 15,000 years ago on the edge of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Victoria, British Columbia.

In the Songhees’ story of harpoon rock, Hayls, the Transformer, with spirit companions, Mink and Raven, came in his canoe and frightened away a seal that a harpooner had been stalking. When the harpooner rebuked them, Hayls turned him to stone and left him with responsibility for protecting the seals on the point forever.

On daily walks passing harpoon rock, I am continually inspired by its presence and its story of transformation and conservation – two pillars of our work and passion.

This interpretation of the story is drawn from the inscription on the Oak Bay Heritage Sahsima cairn installed near harpoon rock. We welcome additional information and interpretations.

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