On July 1 2022, Master Carver Joe Martin raised and unveiled the totem he carved with Robinson Cook, Gizele Martin, Patrick Amos, Gordon Dick, Ken Easton and Robin Rorick, on behalf of Chief Nookmis of Tlaoquiaht Nation in the village of Opitsaht.
It was an incredible sight to witness as three teams on ropes to the front pulled to raise the totem. A fourth team held a rope at the back while others hurriedly filled and stamped down the soil going back in the hole. This method of raising totems has been used for millenia... no heavy machinery needed!
This totem commemorates pandemics from the past and present, missing and murdered Indigenous peoples, the residential school children who did not survive as well as those who live on today, the power and sacredness of women and non binary youth in the community.
Words and photos by: @west.coast.soul ...