One of the most important and symbolic pole raising ceremonies in recent memory occurred on April first, 2017 at UBC.
Haida master carver Jim Hart spent two years working on a new pole that serves as both a telling of the trauma of Canada’s First Nations’ experiences under the residential school system, and as a towering symbol of hope for reconciliation and healing.
The pole was raised in the traditional way of hauling it up through sheer force, under many hands, using ropes. The beauty of this event was that it also served as an open invitation for all members of the community to literally lend a hand. After survivors took some time to be with, and touch the pole in close proximity, hundreds of people took to the ropes and raised it to the sky. It was a powerful and moving moment for many. There isn’t much more to say, other than to offer some images that tell at least part of the story.
For more information, please check out the many links that will give you a fuller background, starting with this one:
Jim Hart overseeing the raising of the pole