New Jasper totem pole angers area First Nations group
By Lana Cuthbertson
The new pole was carved by two brothers from the Haida nation, which is hundreds of kilometres away, off the north coast of B.C.
Chief Nathan Matthew of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council said there is no cultural significance for the Jasper region in the totem pole.
“We have no problem with the Haida, we respect them and they produce iconic, world class art,” Matthew said. “But the local First Nations groups should be represented.”
In response, the local tribe is saying no. "Totem poles aren't part of our culture. You're stereotyping us as if we're all the same."
In America the stereotypical choice is the Plains culture with its chiefs and tipis. In western Canada, it's the Pacific Northwest culture with its totem poles.
For more on totem poles, see Spokane Tribe Replaces "Totem" Art and Goofy Moments in GREEN LANTERN #79.
Below: "A new totem pole is erected in Jasper, Alberta, in July 2011. It tells the story of two brothers who travel from the west coast to the Rockies."