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Salish Sea Sentinel | August 11, 2020

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The Heron is a Sentinel

The Heron is a Sentinel

Chief Gordon Planes talked about the Great Blue heron being a watchman and a guardian around the shores of the Salish Sea.

SSS_heronThe flying heron logo that you see on our cover was created by Mark Gauti, a Coast Salish artist from T’Sou-ke First Nation. Chief Gordon Planes suggested using the heron during discussions, by Naut’samawt Tribal Council directors, about the Salish Sea Sentinel and its mandate. He talked about the Great Blue heron being a watchman and a guardian around the shores of the Salish Sea.

It turns out that Mark Gauti has ‘a thing’ for herons. On his website at markgauti.smugmug.com there are several heron designs. One is from 2009, a logo for the T’Sou-ke Smart Energy Group.

Mark worked as an environmental scientist for several years for T’Souke where he was involved mapping of endangered species and gathering traditional ecological knowledge on traditional uses of native plants for food and medicine.

For the past ten years, Mark has been involved in Coast Salish culture by participating in drumming, language programs and the Tribal Canoe Journeys, as well as researching traditional art and storytelling. He is also the creative director of SunDrm.org, a project whose goal is to create the next generation of aboriginal business leaders.

Mark considers his art to be ‘trickster’ art leading to changes. This is because he is an environmentalist who sees the way we are treating the earth as wrong and uses art as a form of environmental and cultural education. Mark uses a wide range of mediums in his art, including: paint and canvas, glass acid etching, drum making, wood carving, photography and digital art.