KAtēwha‡et, Tom LaFortune, is from SȾAUTW̱ (Tsawout First Nation). He has ancestral ties to many nations of what’s known, for now, as southern Vancouver Island.
Tom has been carving since he was 11 years old, and his decades of work includes masks, rattles, paddles, dishes, talking sticks, single figures, and countless story poles.
Tom’s esteemed designs can be found in collections the world over, and he typically has many projects on the go. His most notable works include: the Harvest Time and Owl Spirit poles completed for Duncan’s City of Totems project; a CBC commissioned totem pole broadcasted in the 1994 Commonwealth Games; a single owl figure overlooking the Ross Fountain at the world-famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria; S’ael, a twenty-five foot pole completed as part of Royal Roads University’s 75 years of changing lives celebrations; and a Salish archway in Fort Rodd Hill.