Totem pole project gets cash injection

Haisla Nation Council agrees to match District of Kitimat’s $8,000

Kitimat’s new totem pole project has moved a step closer to completion following a decision by the Haisla Nation Council to match the District of Kitimat’s $8,000 funding towards the project.

District of Kitimat Deputy Director of Leisure Services Shaun O’Neill said he was informed of the council’s decision by HNC Chief Executive Officer Jason Majore.

“Both councils have now agreed to match any funding shortfalls up to $8,000,” said O’Neill. “We are happy to be working together on this project.”

He said the next step would be to arrange a meeting between lead carver Garry Wilson and HNC hereditary chief Sammy Robinson to discuss approving the design of the totem, or Friendship Pole.

After the design is approved, the log will be moved into the space in the mall that was used as campaign headquarters by New Democratic Party candidate Bruce Bidgood, where the log will be carved by Wilson and his team.

O’Neill said the man power necessary for moving the log into the space has already been arranged. He estimates the log to weigh between 600 and 900 pounds.

Presenting the initial design for the Freedom Pole to council, Wilson predicted the project would be complete by the beginning of October.