Totem Pole Marks End of Sitka Park’s Centennial Year

Video and Story by Ed Ronco, KCAW – Sitka

Hundreds of Sitkans gathered along the beach at Sitka National Historical Park on Sunday to help raise a totem pole commemorating the park’s 100th anniversary.

The pole was supposed to go up in early April, but the near-shutdown of the federal government that weekend postponed it until this month. As it turned out, organizers called the delay a blessing in disguise, comparing the snow from April to yesterday’s blue skies and warm temperatures.

The pole, designed by Sitka carver Tommy Joseph, now stands looking out at the water next to the park’s visitor’s center. KCAW’s Ed Ronco attended Sunday’s festivities and sent back this audio postcard. It begins with Kenny Grant explaining the name of the pole.

Sounds from Sunday’s totem pole raising at the Sitka National Historical Park. The park is built around the site of a Kiksadi fort site. A separate ceremony on Sunday included the installation of a plaque commemorating the Kiksadi Survival March across Baranof Island after the fort was lost to the Russians in 1804.

Download Audio (MP3)