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REPORTING · 5th May 2011
Walter McFarlane
April 28th is the National Day of Mourning for people who have been killed or injured on the job site. It started in Canada and is now recognized internationally. The BC Health and Safety Centre commissioned a poster to go up around the province in recognition of the day.

“The poster that we put together connects an aboriginal image, a First Nations image, connecting it to the Day of Mourning,” said Gord Lechner, who works for the BC Health and Safety Centre.

The image was created by Burton Amos, a Haisla / Tsimshian artist.

The image depicts a clan mother weeping while surrounded by helping hands and the sad faces of mothers and fathers weeping for the loss of the loved ones. The eye in the centre of the image represents wisdom, learning from past incidents to prevent recurrence. Finally, the moon in First Nation’s Culture can represents transition between life and death.

“This poster just came out but over the next couple of years, it’s going to get to thousands of work places. As we do our training, it will be a part of the course material. Literally 10’s of thousands of people will get to see Burton’s artwork here,” said Lechner.

Lechner stated Kitimat has had its share of tragic work related accidents in the past as well as diseases caused by exposure which is not found until later in life. He said there is discussion of having a plaque or an area for a ceremony in Kitimat for future National Days of Mourning.
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