The Two Brothers Totem Pole

Jasper National Park

Pulling Together 
It takes a lot of people, pulling together in many different ways to raise a totem pole...

The Raising of the Two Brothers Totem Pole in Jasper National Park

YouTube Two Brothers video on YouTube

On Saturday, July 16th, 2011 as part of Parks Day and Parks Canada Centennial Celebrations, Jasper National Park along with many Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners pulled together to raise the Two Brothers Totem Pole in Jasper.

Two Brothers Totem Pole in Jasper National Park

It was beautiful, moving, inspirational and historic celebration- a day that brought together more than 15 different regional Indigenous communities in a joyful celebration of their history and culture.

The celebration fused West Coast Haida culture with regional Indigenous traditions and included two pipe ceremonies, a traditional Haida totem pole blessing and carvers dance, a totem pole transfer ceremony, a friendship ceremony, a traditional feast and a round dance. About 4500 people attended the raising, 800 enjoyed the feast and 500 participated in the round dance.

The Honourable Rob Merrifield, MP for Yellowhead and Parks Canada CEO Alan Latourelle joined in the celebrations and helped pull on the ropes to help raise the totem pole.

The finished totem pole is approximately 13.7 metres tall and is painted in traditional Haida colours of red, black and blue.

To commemorate the event, Parks Canada also published The Two Brothers - A Haida Story.

The book, illustrated by carvers Jaalen and Gwaai Edenshaw, tells the Haida story behind the Two Brothers Totem Pole: a story of a journey long ago from the west coast islands of Haida Gwaii to the Rocky Mountains and of an unusual connection between two very different places. The trilingual book was published in Haida, English and French.

The traditional knowledge and experience that has been integrated in the carving of the new Haida totem pole represents the timeless values that will help present and future generations of Canadians to connect with national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas. 

After standing in Jasper for almost 100 years, the Raven Totem Pole was taken down and repatriated to Haida Gwaii, in 2011 a new pole, the Two Brothers pole was erected in Jasper to replace the Raven Pole. This film outlines the story of the pole and its significance in the connectivity between Native peoples and this land that is now a National Park.

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