Haida pole raising Saturday in Jasper

  • Jul. 15, 2011 5:00 p.m.

by Ayanna Rhindress–The Two Brothers pole carved by the Endeshaw brothers Jaalen and Gwaai will be raised tomorrow (July 16) in Jasper National Park.On Friday, the pole was in the park, completely fenced in to keep tourists at bay, while the carvers finish up their job.When the park was created in 1907, a Haida pole was taken from Old Massett, and erected in Jasper to celebrate the opening of the Grand Trunk Railway in the early 1900s. It then became a popular attraction in the park. It stood there for 94 years, decaying in the weather, losing it’s beauty, and finally threatening to collapse.In 2009, the pole had to be taken down. It was brought back to Haida Gwaii last summer, and is now in Old Massett. Then, a new Haida pole was commissioned by Parks Canada. The new pole tells an ancient story about two brothers who travelled from Haida Gwaii to the Rocky Mountains. While travelling, one brother found a place that spoke to him and he decided to stay, while the other returned to Haida Gwaii. Rob Merrifield, MP for Yellowhead, will participate in the pole raising on behalf of Peter Kent, the Minister responsible for Parks Canada.Gwaai and Jaalen, the master carvers for the Two Brothers pole are just finishing carving and painting it, making sure it’s ready to go up Saturday afternoon.

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