June 2016:We have a pole raising date

The raising of the totem pole is coming along.   June 27th, is a meeting with the city to approve funding. If all goes according to plan, we will raise the pole November 5.


From the Georgia Straight:

Totem pole honouring survivors of injustice in Vancouver to be raised in Pigeon Park

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  • Work is currently being completed on the monument carved by master carver Bernie Williams, known by her Haida name as Skundaal. SACRED CIRCLE SOCIETY

A monument will be installed in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver to pay tribute to people who have defied racism and other forms of injustice.

The 27-foot totem pole by master carver Bernie Williams, known by her Haida name as Skundaal, will be raised in Pigeon Park.

The installation will be held on November 5 as a highlight of the Heart of the City Festival this year.

According to a report by city staff for the Vancouver park board, the project is significant because of the changes happening in the Downtown Eastside.

“This project provides an opportunity for the long-time residents to express the importance of honouring the many people who have arrived and lived in this community as survivors, and also allows newcomers to reflect on the beauty and poignancy of that survival,” the report notes.

In the report, staff recommended the allocation of $50,000 for the installation of the Survivor’s Totem Pole.

The totem pole project is an initiative of the Downtown Eastside-based Sacred Circle Society, and the Vancouver Moving Theatre.

According to Wendy Pedersen, a member of the board of Sacred Circle Society, work is being completed on the totem pole.

“It’s going up finally,” Pedersen told the Straight by phone. “We’ve been working on it for a couple of years.”

The other members of the Sacred Circle Society board include Squamish hereditary chief Bill Williams, Haida elder Woody Morrison, Haida elder Wilfred Price, Tomiye Ishida, Sid Chow Tan, and Audrey Siegl.


March 2015 Update on the Survivors Totem Pole

carving tools

Dear contributors, friends.  Hello from the beautiful ancestral and unceded territory of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh, sel̓íl̓witulh, & xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations.

Thank you for supporting the Survivors Totem Pole.  We continue to work on this project. We are looking at raising the pole on September 19, 2015.  Your love and gifts are in our hearts and minds.  Please don’t hesitate to be in touch for more information.

Downtown Eastside Sacred Circle Society


With your support a Survivors’ Totem Pole will be raised in Fall 2014 by DTES communities struggling for justice and dignity since colonization began

Visit our kickstarter page to learn more.

We’d like to acknowledge that we live on the ancestral and unceded territory of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh, sel̓íl̓witulh, & xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations.

We have officially launched our kickstarter campaign, check it out and contribute whatever you can! Please follow us on twitter and like us on facebook to stay in the know.

Open House Photos

We’d like to thank Suki MacDonald for taking so many wonderful photo’s at our open house! The rest of the photos can be viewed here.

We’d like to thank Gunargie O’Sullivan for covering our project, and interview Sid Tan today on the show Sne’waylh on co-op radio. Check out the show here, Sid goes on at the 35 minute mark, but listen to the show in its entirety to hear about culture and language.