“It has been covered for too long,” Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse said of the totem pole which was unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 13. (Cecil Grinder photo)

“It has been covered for too long,” Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse said of the totem pole which was unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 13. (Cecil Grinder photo)

18-foot totem pole finds home in First Nations community west of Williams Lake

Totem pole recently raised at Tl’etinqox

An 18-foot totem pole has been raised in a Tsilhqot’in community earlier than planned in hopes its presence will lift the spirits of community members feeling down as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse said it was initially planned to keep the totem covered until the grand opening of his community’s new, $4.5 million gas bar, Chilcotin River Trading. However, that event has been delayed due to COVID-19.

“With the pandemic … there’s not been a lot of hope. There’s been a lot of fear.”

A small ceremony was held at the base of the totem pole, approximately 100 kilometres west of Williams Lake, Tuesday, Jan. 12 at Tl’etinqox (Anaham) First Nation.

So this happened today! It’s been a long time coming but our totem pole has found it’s way home! A small ceremony,…

Posted by Tl'etinqox Government on Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The exquisite totem featuring the transformation of a human to raven at the top beneath other animals such as a beaver, red-tailed hawk, killer whale, bear and frog was completed in the fall of 2017.

“There are not a lot of things our people can be positive about right now and that pole is something that can provide that for them, so this provides hope to our members that we unveiled,” Alphonse said.

At the small ceremony, one key element was missing, Alphonse said: a drum song to bring the totem pole to life.

The song will be included in an official community event later this spring.

Originally destined for the traditional territory of the Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) at Boitanio Park in downtown Williams Lake, the totem was rejected by WLFN.

Read More: Totem pole gift no longer destined for Boitanio Park


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fort St. James municipal office. (Aman Parhar/Caledonia Courier)
All-candidate forum being held in Fort St. James

Both Brenda Gouglas and Bradley Miller will be debating in the forum starting 6 p.m. Jan. 20

This BC Hydro map shows some of the power outages across Northern BC. Many were caused by high winds. (BC Hydro Website)
Power out across much of Northern BC

BC Hydro anticipates some may be without power overnight

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

In the photo — nurses Jody Price, Janna Leidl, John Ormiston and Dr. Paul Stent. Stuart Lake Auxiliary donated $33,445.87 to the hospital towards the purchase of Panda IRES (baby warmer). (Submitted photo)
Letter from Coun. Paul Stent regarding COVID-19

Hello to all the people living on the shores of Stuart Lake.… Continue reading

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Head-on collision Jan. 14 claims one life west of Fort St. James

Jenkins said alcohol, as well as road surface conditions, have been ruled out as factors

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read