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.