Kitsumkalum First Nation celebrated 30 years of bringing back traditions on Friday.
30 years ago Kitsumkalum did something that was unheard of in their territory for they believe over 150 years- they raised totem poles.
3 poles were carved by master carver Freida Deising, and her apprentices. 1 represented the elders, the past, the second represented the children, the future, and the third was donated to the city of Terrace to commemorate their diamond jubilee anniversary.
According to Tsimshian custom, the raising of a commissioned crest pole occurs during a spectacular public event, called a potlatch. In the summer of 1987, the Tsimshian community of Kitsumkalum, the ‘People of the Robin’, held a massive potlatch to celebrate the raising of two crest poles and to celebrate the raising of two crest poles, said the event invitation.
This past week marked their anniversary and they hosted another potlatch to commemorate.
Then Chief Clifford Bolton of the Kitsumkalum said that Canadian laws had made it difficult for the Tsimshian to retain their culture. This celebration was his generation’s way of telling the children that the next generation will have to be prepared to fight for the survival of their culture.
The event was celebrated with a commemorative plaque with the story of the poles and a quote from the late Chief Bolton.