We’d like to start by acknowledging that we live and perform this work on the ancestral and unceded territory of the sḵwx̱wú7mesh, sel̓íl̓witulh, & xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nations.
The Survivors’ Totem Pole is a grassroots community art and action project bringing together a diverse array of people who have and continue to experience different forms of oppression and exclusion. The pole symbolizes the Downtown Eastside community’s struggle for survival, and will be a lasting symbol of resistance, persistence and inclusion. We have launched a kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 to cover the costs of the project.
Haida and Coast Salish artist Skundaal (Bernie Williams) is the master carver on this project. She is the only female apprentice of the late master carver, Bill Reid, and is a longtime resident of the Downtown Eastside. Throughout the project Skundaal will be passing on some of her skills and knowledge to several apprentices.
We are aiming to raise $15,000 and with your help we can make this dream a reality. With your help, Skundaal will work with apprentices for 3 months (June- August 2014) to carve the pole to completion. This includes adding the copper and the coordination of artists, children, and community members from the different cultures involved to paint the pole. Please contribute through our kickstarter page, and follow the project’s progress through this blog, and on twitter or facebook.