Two totem poles are coming down at the Thunderbird Park, next to the Royal BC Museum (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Two totem poles to come down at Victoria’s Thunderbird Park

Poles built in the 1950s have reached the end of their lives and will be repatriated

Two of the iconic totem poles in Victoria’s Thunderbird Park are coming down.

Thunderbird Park, next to the Royal BC Museum, is home to a longhouse and a dozen poles from local First Nations.

Two of the poles, both replicas of poles with historical significance, are to come down for safety measures after recent inspections found that they had a high risk of falling.

“As some of these monumental poles near the end of their life cycle, we propose to return them to their source communities, for whom they have the greatest cultural significance,” said Prof. Jack Lohman CBE, CEO of the Royal BC Museum in a statement. “We are transferring their ownership and guardianship in the spirit of reconciliation.”

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria totem project matches people with master carver

The first pole to come down is the Kwakwaka’wakw house post replica, built in 1954, followed by the Haida mortuary pole replica built in 1955. Both of these poles were built by Mungo Martin with assistance from his son, David Martin, and Henry Hunt.

After a wide consultation process, the Royal BC Museum and local First Nations devised an appropriate way to take down the poles and repatriate them with their communities.

The poles will be moved to Fort Rupert where Chief David Mungo Knox of the Kwakiutl First Nation, the great-grandson of Mungo Martin, will oversee the poles’ journey.

ALSO READ: 800-year-old tree to become UN project totem at UVic

The Haida mortuary pole will stay in Fort Rupert to stay as a reference for carvers while Knox continues discussions with the Haida clan.

The Kwakwaka’wakw house post will go to Quatsino, where members of the Quatsino First Nation will decide how to lay it to rest.

The Kwakwaka’wakw house post will come down at 9 a.m. on Friday May 31, while the Haida pole will come down in the first week of June.

Presently, the museum has no verified plans for the space after the poles are removed.

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca


 

vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

First NationsRoyal BC Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Two totem poles are coming down at the Thunderbird Park, next to the Royal BC Museum (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Just Posted

Anti-racism rally takes to the streets of downtown Victoria

Vigil for George Floyd planned at B.C. Legislature for 7 p.m.

PHOTOS: Greater Victoria School District reports 50 per cent of students back in class

Students are on a rotational schedule alternating two days a week

Hearing ahead for blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case against Victoria bus stops

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

Saanich man dies from injuries after serious crash on Six Mile Road

Police continue to investigate cause of fatal crash

View Royal resident spots bear in Portage Park

West Shore RCMP confirms report of sighting, Conservation notified

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read