October 20, 2007

Pole promotes domestic nonviolence

'Healing House' totem unveiled

SITKA:  Twelve-foot pole is intended to raise awareness about domestic violence.An unusual new totem pole is to be unveiled in Sitka today. Instead of relating a tale drawn from history or legend, this pole promotes the contemporary theme of domestic nonviolence.

The 12-foot pole's debut comes in conjunction with National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It was commissioned by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and will stand at a newly refurbished facility dubbed the "Healing House," headquarters for the tribe's Family Wellness Department and Sitka's Family Justice Center.
What the pole depicts:With the help of two young assistants, Robert "Allan" Bradley and Nicole Lindoff, he sculpted the pole to include some intriguing nontraditional elements: a dove, a rainbow, a reclining fawn--"a symbol of peace in Tlingit culture," Joseph said.

At the top, a protective mother holds two children. The mother is done in a "more traditional, old-style carving," Joseph said, "but the kids are more the kids of today," shown in bright, contemporary clothing.

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