My friends & I went to Jasper this past weekend to watch the new totem pole being raised and we had a wonderful time. Up until 2009, there had been a totem pole by the railways in Jasper (94 years actually). It was however about 140 years old, it had sat elsewhere for the first portion of its life and then been purchased by Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and placed in Jasper. The Jasper Raven Totem Pole was repatriated back to the Haida Gwaii in 2010.
Totem poles are not something the First Nations Tribes in this area create and there was a huge uproar over putting another totem pole in Jasper. Some links; here, here and here. It seems to have been settled out a bit at least as there were no demonstrations and lots of participation by the tribes of the area and the Gwaii. Here is the story of the new totem and the brothers that designed and carved it.
And it wouldn't be a post by me if there weren't some photos ;)
I managed to hobble over and get these shots of the pole going up:
I heard that the people pulling on the ropes all got to keep a section of rope for a souvenir. It was hauled up by manpower, the crane was there only as an emergency stop should it fall.....it weighs 9600 lbs. There were only a couple of times that it seemed it was going go awry.
Sadly as I was stuck on a bench I didn't get shots of the procession of chiefs and other dignitary's. However I will post more tomorrow (or the next day) this is long enough for now.
Have a great day all.