Local News

Totem poles preserved

Sitka carver Tommy Joseph and his son, Joe, have been cleaning and treating Petersburg’s two totem poles which stand next to the downtown federal building.

Joseph created the 35-foot Eagle and Raven poles 13 years ago. They were commissioned by a committee of local residents which spent years planning and fundraising for the project. Community members raised the poles by hand in the fall of 2001 during a large, well-attended celebration. In the years since then, the carvings accumulated a coating of dirt and organic growth like algae and moss.

Today’s Totem Pole Preservation Project is a joint effort between the Petersburg Indian Association and the Public Library and it’s funded through federal grant money from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Late last week, Matt Lichtenstein stopped by to talk with Joseph and the library’s education and cultural coordinator Jessica Ieremia:

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