On August 15th of this year, the Gwaii Haanas totem legacy pole was raised on Lyell Island in southern Haida Gwaii, marking a return to a celebrative cultural practice that hasn’t been seen for 130 years. The pole weighs nearly 3,000 kilograms and spans 42 feet of red cedar, carved and painted with traditional symbols and imagery to commemorate the anniversaries of the agreements which led to the creation of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
There has been a strong renewal of interest in Haida traditional coastal carving arts since the work of Bill Reid, whose art was largely inspired by Charles Edenshaw, a renowned Haida chief and carver. Haida carving arts, including work from both of these artists, can be viewed in several virtual exhibits produced in partnership with virtualmuseum.ca:
- The Raven’s Call | Bill Reid Foundation
- The Respect to Bill Reid Pole | UBC Museum of Anthropology
- Haida Memories | Haida Heritage and Repatriation Society