Doug Lafortune Welcome Figures, University of Victoria

Last year I posted a series of images on a pole carved by Charles Elliott that is standing at the University of Victoria. On that same visit I also photographed these Welcome Figures which are carved by Doug Lafortune and stand at the main entrance to the First Peoples House at U-Vic. This building features a great deal of First Nation’s art from south western British Columbia – the artists are listed on this link, as well as information about the architect (Alfred Waugh is also an indigenous person) and other details about the purpose of the building at this link.

The first U-Vic website linked above describes the welcome figures featured here in this way:

“Lafortune created two traditional freestanding cedar welcome figures that line the main entrance to the First Peoples House. The figure on the right represents a traditional Coast Salish man with a boy, and the figure on the left displays a traditional Coast Salish woman and child.”

woman figure front looking up


First Peoples House 3


First Peoples House 1


The university also has a handbook for First Nations students that tells about campus initiatives to involve aboriginal peoples more in the life and work of the University, though it predates the construction of this building.


To view the gallery click on any of the images below, to navigate in the gallery use the arrows on the sides of the images, or on your keyboard, to return to this page hit escape.


This place can be found on my map of First Nations markers and Songhees geography in the Victoria area, at this link.

Canon EOS 5Dii, Nikkor-N 24/2.8 lenses, ISO 100, shot as jpegs.




8 thoughts on “Doug Lafortune Welcome Figures, University of Victoria

    • Thank you for commenting Andy. They are indeed captivating images, completely photogenic. Makes a photographer’s job really easy! I will be interested to see how they weather, I think they might improve with age as the cedar turns grey and silver


  1. These are wonderful carvings in a beautiful setting. The traditional figures go well with the modern building, too. Great photos, especially the close ups of the details on the carvings.


    • Thanks Ken. I like the close ups too – they help me to see the detailed artistry that is a bit lost when looking in person at such large sculptures – the size rather overwhelms the finer points.
      I need to get inside this building and get some more shots of the other works sometime. UVic has a very nice campus, especially for a relatively young university (1960’s). It has changed an awful lot since I first attended classes there in 1973…..


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