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Totem Poles in Stanley Park

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Totem poles are monumental sculptures carved from large trees, mostly Western Red Cedar, by indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The word totem is derived from the Ojibwe word odoodem, which means “his kinship group.”

The nine totem poles in Stanley Park at Brockton Point are British Columbia’s most visited tourist attraction. The collection began in the 1920s at Lumberman’s Arch when the park board bought four totems from Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. In celebration of the 1936 Golden Jubilee, more totems were brought from Haida Gwaii. In the mid 1960s, the totem poles were moved to Brockton Point. Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation carved the ninth and most recent totem pole, which was added to Brockton Point in 2009. Coast Salish artist Susan Point carved the three beautiful red cedar portals that welcome visitors to the Brockton Point Visitor Centre and to the traditional lands of the Coast Salish people.

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