Two Brothers pole heading to Jasper next week

  • Jun. 27, 2011 6:00 a.m.

by Adrienne Fitzpatrick-An impressive crowd gathered to celebrate summer solstice and to honour the Two Brothers totem pole at a ceremony in New Town June 21. Carvers Jaalen and Gwaai Edenshaw were on hand to tell the story of the pole, which will replace the original Jasper Raven pole that had been standing for 94 years. It was removed by Parks Canada in 2009 due to disrepair and was repatriated to Haida Gwaii last year. The Minister of the Environment opened a design competition in September 2010 and the two Edenshaw brothers submitted the winning proposal.”We couldn’t decide on a story, so we asked Gwaaganad (Diane Brown) and she gave one to us,” said Gwaai at the ceremony. The story was published by Parks Canada for the event – Gwaai read it in English and Gwaaganad read it in Haida. It follows the adventure of two brothers who leave Haida Gwaii to explore the mainland, or The Land Out There. They make it to the Rockies, climb mountains and meet up with goats. One of the brothers finds a place he likes and decides to stay and the other brother goes back to Haida Gwaii. Years later, the brother travels back to the Rockies as an old man, in search of his brother, who he discovers has died. But he finds his brother’s daughter and the family is reunited. The story suggests a connection between the Haida and the indigenous people of the Jasper area.The totem pole will be leaving for Jasper on July 6 to prepare for the official pole-raising there on July 16.

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