Despite the sign coming down, the business still being harassed.
Controversy erupted last week when a business sign hanging by two totem poles was spotted near Terrace.
The sign was quickly taken down, and the business owner made it clear it was a mistake of ignorance and wasn’t wilfully put up to be disrespectful.
He emphasized to CFNR News that he’s not racist, works with many First Nations people, and in the past has donated yellow cedar to carvers.
He has reached out to local band officials and carvers to get guidance on what to do with the so-called totem poles.
It has been determined that the totem poles have been there for years, with an older sign, advertising for a local motel.
What the new business did was take down the old sign and put up his own sign, assuming since no one complained about the old sign, then using his own wouldn’t be a problem.
It all went unnoticed until the trees and brush that blocked the poles and sign from view were cleared.
Then a storm of criticism hit.
When the story first broke, the owners were swamped with harassing phone calls, some of them threatening enough for the RCMP to be contacted.
The business owner is frustrated that is efforts at goodwill have gone unnoticed by some, and that he’s still getting harassing calls.
The poles themselves were created by two non-First Nations men who were inspired by First Nations art, using a chainsaw.
The business hopes that with the sign now down, the storm will finally start to quiet.