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Home / News / Totem poles used as signposts in Terrace

Totem poles used as signposts in Terrace

Two totem poles used as signposts.

Two totem poles used as signposts.

Two totem poles used as signposts.

Two totem poles used as signposts.

Two totem poles off Highway 16 near the Terrace Chevron Card Lock are being used as signposts.

An advertising sign for a local roofing company is held up between the two, weathered totem poles.

Phone calls to the company went unanswered and attempts to reach someone at the business itself were unsuccessful.

The origins and significance of the two totem poles have yet to be determined.

Many First Nations people are upset as word spreads about how the totem poles are being used.

A Google Street View image from June 2012 shows the two totem poles obscured behind a tree line, and there was a different sign attached to them at that time.

A for sale sign for the property can also be seen.

We’ll update this story as we get more information.

Update 1:

We’ve spoken with the sign manufacturer and they say while they made the sign, they did not install it.

Update 2: 

Stan Bevan, a First Nations Art instructor at the Freda Diesing School of Nortwest Coast Art, says he can’t tell if the totem poles are authentic First Nation’s totem poles or not without a close examination.

But he says even if they’re not authentic, and created by a non-First Nations person, it still brings up the issue of cultural appropriation.

Bevan says in the past, it was common for non-First Nations to create items that mimic First Nations art and pass it off as authentic, but he says people today are more aware and culturally sensitive.

Update 3:

Some Facebook commentators have mentioned the totem poles have been there for years, were created as an advertising tool, and held different signs in the past.

About Gene Law

6 comments

  1. This is outrageous, and so disrespectful. But why should this surprise anyone? Business always trumps respect. If a buck is to be made, anything is fair game nowadays. Sickening.

  2. OOOOh Noooo!!! this is in Terrace im sure.

  3. Whoever put those signs up owes the owner of those totem poles a lot of money, clearly this person does not know the value and history of a totem pole

  4. Where are these totem poles located? I want to start emailing, phone calling and all that and help spread the word. But, there is no like town or anything with it. Just wondering. I find this ridiculous that they would even think to do something like this!!!!

    • Two totem poles off Highway 16 near the Terrace Chevron Card Lock are being used as signposts. Terrace BC is mentioned in the first line of the story.

  5. I am so glad you are covering this story. Thank you

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