Totem Pole Journey

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August 25, 2016 

Since 2013, three totem poles have made their journeys from the Coastal Salish peoples over and through the mountains to carry a message of alliance and awakening. Under the guidance of Elders and ceremony, beginning September 5, 2016, the fourth Totem Pole, will make its way down Main street in Winnipeg before reaching its final destination on sacred lands at the Turtle Lodge in Treaty One Territory on September 6th.

The Totem Pole Journey is an opportunity for all peoples to align in the name of our shared responsibilities to Nimama Akii (Mother Earth).  During its presence in Treaty One Territory, the Assembly of Manitoba Chief (AMC) is hopeful that people who believe in a future of clean sustainable energy and an end to reliance on fossil fuel exploitation will join us in the streets and walk with us as we guide the totem pole from The Forks, to the Thunderbird House, and eventually to the Turtle Lodge located in Sagkeeng First Nation.

To this end, the AMC, along with our friends in the community, will host a large public event in Winnipeg on September 5th to honor the arrival of the Totem Pole Journey. The celebration will focus on the growth of the alliance, among nations and with Nimama Akii herself, towards clean energy and will celebrate the awareness and growing consciousness that the Totem Pole Journey is building across Turtle Island.

The following day on September 6th all are invited to welcome to Totem Pole Journey to it’s final destination at the Turtle Lodge. The Turtle Lodge will host an exchange of gifts and ceremony including the raising of the totem pole and Ogichi Tibakonigaywin (The Great Binding Law). All are encouraged to bring a contribution to the gift exchange to honor the spirit of The Totem Pole Journey and the important alliance our Coast Salish relatives have brought here to Manitou Abi.

The 22 foot totem pole, the design of the totem pole was gifted through ceremony and visions to head carver, Jewell James, a renowned carver from the Lummi nation. The twenty-two foot totem pole will begin its journey in the state of Washington on August 18, 2016. In the following weeks the totem pole will visit British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, North Dakota, and South Dakota before being welcomed in Manitoba on September 5th.

We are kindly requesting the support of Sagkeeng First Nation to host the feast for approximately 150 people on September 6, 2016 at the Turtle Lodge.  For your information and review, I have attached the poster and the proposed itinerary for the Totem Pole Journey.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 204.987.4122.

Thank you,

Hilda Anderson-Pyrz
Special Projects Coordinator
First Nations Family Advocate Office
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs