Grand Forks residents can now donate to an earthen dome to house sculptor David Seven Deers’ Ikasha, or “Shining Raven Woman,” at the confluence of the Kettle and Granby rivers.
City council voted Monday, Nov. 9 to accept charitable donations on behalf of the project and provide donors tax-deductible receipts. Council approved a second motion to help Seven Deers and the Friends of Shining Raven Woman committee’s (FSRW) application for a provincial grant towards Ikasha’s intended home.
The earthen dome would probably fall outside Grand Forks’ re-aligned dike network, according to preliminary designs seen by capital project manager Justin Dinsdale. Dinsdale, who oversees flood works under the auspices of the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, clarified that the rivers’ confluence occurs on a natural flood plain.
The proposed location for Ikasha’s home reflects the preferences of Seven Deers and the FSRW, Dinsdale said. The dome’s foundation will be built high enough to protect Ikahsa from rising flood waters, a spokes person from FSRW told The Gazette.
Seven Deers, who hails from the Sto:lo First Nation, gave a standing address to council at Monday’s committee of the whole meeting at chambers. Offering a timeless prayer in his native Halkomelem, the language of the Coast Salish peoples, Seven Deers asked council to, “help me, help us.”
The whole point, he said, was to “bring beauty to our little town.” Ikasha’s traditional display would attract tourists and generally beautify the city, he explained.
Seven Deers said he would appreciate it if Grand Forks residents chose to donate, but that we would have refused to put city tax dollars toward the project. By helping donors, council’s involvement would lend her home “a certain point of legitimacy,” he said.
“This way, it’s not just David ‘the First Nations guy’ doing it on his own. We’re doing it together.”
The motions by Councillor Christine Thompson and seconded by Councillor Cathy Korolek passed unanimously.
Grand Forks officials have suggested that interested contributors bring their donations to city hall.