Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Home for Brisbane Inukshuk

A Canadian replica directional marker was recently dedicated in its new home in Victoria Park, in the suburb of Herston.

It is the third home in 18 years for the Brisbane monument which is known by its Inuit name of “inukshuk”.

The Canadian High Commissioner, Mr Michael Leir attended the re-dedication ceremony on Thursday, April 6, this year.

The monument weighs 19 tonnes and was created for the Canadian stand at Brisbane’s Expo 88 by indigenous artists of Nunavut, a territory in Arctic Canada.

In his re-dedication speech, Mr Leir said the inukshuk is easily one of Canada’s most recognizable symbols.

It is a traditional stone sculpture of the Inuit people of north-west Canada and inukshuk translates roughly into English as "likeness of person."

The Inuit used inukshuks to show directions to travellers, to warn of impending danger, to mark a place of respect, or to act as helpers in the hunting of caribou.

The sculpture was presented as a gift to Brisbane when Expo 88 concluded and it sat outside the entrance to the Queensland State Library for the next 15 years.

In 2004, extensions to the new State Library meant it needed to be moved again.

The new site is the pedestrian bridge on the Great Northern Greenway at Victoria Park, Herston.

Queensland Arts Minister Rod Welford said he was delighted a new home had been found for the important sculpture, which will now be enjoyed by more than 800 cyclists and pedestrians who pass the site each weekday.

According to a Canadian embassy media release, the High Commissioner Mr Leir said the inukshuk would become an important stop on the tourist trail for the 175,000 Canadians who travel to Australia each year.

The inukshuk appears on the flag of Nunavut and has also been chosen as the official symbol for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.


Nutsy said...

I am really glad the Inukshuk has a new home. It is such a strong symbol and of great importance to the Inuit in the artic regions of Canada to guide them in their hunt of caribou, in a treeless area. It has become a new symbol too - for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games to be held in Whistler, Nth. of Vancouver.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see this symbol of my homeland in such bad shape.