Salish Sea Stones Project
I created Salish Sea Stones in March 2020, just at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. It started as a self-therapy method for me in those early months of lockdown. In my struggles for recovery from PTSD I would wander the peaceful, scenic areas near to my home town of Chemainus, British Columbia.
I started collecting river rocks and stones from the shore of the Salish Sea. I would clean the stones, paint them and found I could apply removable images, seal them and finish them with some posh felt which made them look really good!
Initially I gave the stones to family and friends, who told me they liked them so much that they thought I could try selling them. That was the great idea that sparked the beginning of Salish Sea Stones.
I also decided that it was time for me to give back, as I was helped as a young child growing up in a challenging situation. My thoughts then turned to help other kids including sick kids and my local First Nations kids with the proceeds of the stone art, in the hope of positively influencing their lives.
Things have grown since those early days. The stones are now helping kids and their families in hospitals, hospices and transition housing here in BC and in the UK. The stones are currently being sold in various local outlets, with all money received from the stones going to the local First Nation kids.
Ultimately I would like to hand over Salish Sea Stones to the local First Nations kids, in the hope of it being a thriving, small charitable organisation for them to continue running. I would hope that this would empower them to continue helping their families, elders and continue to create stone art for the kids in hospitals, hospices, transition houses, etc. I really enjoy creating the stone art as it not only helps the kids and their families, but also me in my long road to recovery. Please help if you can. I do take commissions for personalised stones and all of the proceeds go to the kids.
Why did I call it
The Salish Sea Stones Project?
There are two really good reasons why I named the project Salish Sea Stones:
The first is that I had the great honour of doing a special personalised stone for Elder George Harris (Wholwolet’za) from Stz’uminus First Nation, near Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Elder George Harris was instrumental in having both the Canadian and American governments change the name from the Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound back to the Salish Sea after a long battle in 2010.
The second reason is that most of the stones I use for the stone art come from the gorgeous rivers and shoreline that are now the Salish Sea. These stones, as the BC motto would say, come from “The Best Place on Earth!”
Hence we now have Salish Sea Stones.
for the Salish Sea Stones Project
Our vision is to empower the local First Nation youth to create their own stone art and take over the project for themselves. We have permission from the Chiefs to work with the children at Stz’uminus First Nation and Penelakut Tribe.
The ultimate aim of Salish Sea Stones is to have First Nation youth producing the stone art to benefit sick children in the hospitals we are partnered with. The stones that the kids create would be sold by local outlets partnered with the charity. Funds generated would first be used to purchase materials required to create the stones, with all remaining funds donated to our partners in hospitals, paediatric units and local First Nation youth projects.