Story and Photos by Chris Wilhelm
April 13, 2005
The replica Chief Kyan pole carved by Israel Shotridge was first raised in Whale Park in 1993. After 10 years, it was determined to be due for some restoration work, and Israel and Sue Shotridge were asked to help. The beak of the Thunderbird was replaced, new coats of paint all around, and some cracks in the wood were filled.
Tuesday morning's raising was attended by members of both the Tongass Tribe and Haida Tribe. A group of Haida singers sang to recognize the pole and honor it. Singers Myrna Chaney, Beth Garza, and Linda Schrack sang the Lyle Island song, which Schrack termed an "announcement song" that the group sang to announce the refurbished pole, and recognize the Tongass Tribe. Singers from the Tongass Tribe also sang to recognize the restored pole.
Tlingit Master Carver Israel Shotridge danced to consecrate the pole. Shotridge carved the replica Chief Kyan pole, and also carved the replica Chief Johnson pole near Totem Way, as well as the replica Sun/Raven pole at the Robertson building. They are collectively called the Tongass Downtown Totems.
The Shotridges will be giving a public presentation June 10 at the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center on these poles and their histories. They will be showing photos and film footage of the poles. This will coincide with the arrival of a delegation from Washington, DC, including USFS Chief Dale Bosworth, who will be touring the Tongass National Forest at that time.
Beth Garza (in hat), and Linda Schrack (with drum).
raise the pole during the ceremony.