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Terrace totem poles update #2

The man who owns the sign hanging from two totem poles off Highway 16 near Terrace says he’s sorry and it was an unintentional mistake.

Wishing not to be identified due to threats left on his answering machine, he says the two poles were inherited from the previous property owner and were always used as signposts.

He says he simply replaced the old sign with his own in its place, without meaning to hurt or upset anyone.

He adds that he was unaware of how significant totem poles are to First Nations people, and despite having many First Nations friends, no one warned him not to put up his sign.

He says his business sign will stay up, but not on the totem poles, or what can be construed as totem poles.

But before he takes any action, he says he will contact the Kitselas Band Office to get guidance on how he should deal with the poles, regardless of their origin.

He hopes this will show his good faith and his sincerity that he didn’t mean to offend or be disrespectful.

Tara Motz says her father was the former owner of the Desiderata Inn and Plaza, and that he was a craftsman with a flair for art, and that he carved the two totem poles with a chainsaw.

Update: The owner of the business says he has made several phone calls and left messages to local carvers and band officials, and is now waiting for their reply.

About Gene Law

2 comments

  1. Great plan by the owner and although I figured they were not genuine, great to hear the confirmation.

  2. Joanne Lewis Dudoward

    That is very respectful of the owner to follow protocol even after the fact. I must point out that the Poles were apparently there long before with the same use. Do not fault the individual especially when he is correcting what someone should have done long ago. As First Nations we should be teaching non first nations protocol and our teachings. And even a person who makes totem poles should have followed protocol. that is why in our culture there are steps to take for everything. We need more awareness about things that affect everyone. If we open a business and use our culture art and language, when closing or selling we must ensure the new owner knows, or take them all away and leave an empty lot. I say leave this issue now, and learn from it. We take for granted our protocol and we don’t keep it alive with everyone in our area. Even our children sometimes. It is our duty to ensure that proper steps are taken, and not judge others on things we should have prepared them for. Any culture however, should be given respect. Asians i will not use a dragon in my establishment if it is not my culture, or use a turban a mascot for my organization. We ALL have to be respectful to especially things we do not know about, and at least ask about it, before doing something that can and most likely will come back at us. I have many friends of many nationalities and try to show utmost respect to them all. and the more i learn even a little about it the better person and more respectful i make myself. DO NOT EVER utter threats to anyone, no matter how bad it may seem, because then you bring yourself to a worse stage than you perceive that person you are threatening. or facebook bashing. I am the proudest Indian, First Nation, Aboriginal what ever you call me, just make it in a nice way 🙂 but i will not force that down other peoples throats, i will inform them and help them, but it is then their choice what to do with what i share, and as long as it is not intentional i am not offended. We grow up with all our different cultures, and when you look closely they are close in beliefs just done differently or stress one thing more than the other, but we are all Human beings, we all make mistakes, we are not perfect, We must live together, work together, raise our families together, and learn together in this world, country, city, town, neighbourhood, or house. We make our own choices, be respectful and always think of how others will think of our decision, if it may offend them, alter it as best you can to still do what you need, but respect others and their cultures. I hope this fades into the history and is a learning tool for even one person, and that can change it into a positive. The more we hold onto negative, the more negative we become. My mom talk me to walk away from bad things, but also learn why and if i can help one person, at least try. Take care all of you and Stay positive and forgive and forget and learn from mistakes 🙂

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