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Survivor’s Totem Pole to symbolize resistance, persistence, and inclusion in Vancouver

Haida carver Skundaal.

Haida carver Skundaal.

By Matt Kieltyka, Metro Vancouver,

Like the Bear Mother at the base of a totem pole, a Vancouver artist hopes her latest community project will provide strength to the Downtown Eastside.  Skundaal, Bill Reid’s only female apprentice, and three apprentice carvers have been whittling away on a survivor’s pole dedicated to communities that have struggled for survival in Vancouver.

After the totem’s completion, it will be installed somewhere in the Downtown Eastside (the location has been kept secret) as a lasting symbol of inclusion between Aboriginals, Chinese Head Tax survivors, victims of Japanese internment during the Second World War, the homeless and those currently facing gentrification and other issues in the DTES. Read the rest of this entry