A historic totem pole was destroyed by a fire in Kitwanga yesterday.
Art Mathews is a Gitwangak hereditary chief.
He says while he wasn’t at the fire when it began, he was told that there was a grass fire and that it then spread to the totem pole.
Mathews says, he heard from other people that the fire department tried to put the fire out, but were delayed due to an approaching CN train, as the tracks cut through the village.
The destruction of the totem pole has affected the whole village says Mathews.
According to Mathews, the totem pole belonged to the Eagle Clan and was a given to the Hudson Bay Company as a welcome gift.
Mathews also says people are upset over allegations that a nearby CN crew was seen laughing at the totem pole as it was on fire.