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Minden Hills Cultural Centre
176 Bobcaygeon Rd, Minden, ON,

A free screening as part of the ongoing documentary film series presented by the Minden Hills Cultural Centre in association with the Haliburton County Public Library, Minden Branch:

Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole (Gil Cardinal | 2003 | 70 min)

A feature-length documentary that traces the journey of the Haisla people of northwestern British Columbia to reclaim the G’psgolox totem pole that went missing from their village. In 1929, the Haisla returned from a fishing trip to find the 9-metre-high totem pole severed at the base and removed. The fate of the 19th-century pole remained unknown to the Haisla for over sixty years.

Director Gil Cardinal reveals their 1991 discovery of the pole in a Stockholm museum, where it is considered state property by the Swedish government. From the lush rainforest near Kitamaat Village, BC, to the National Museum of Ethnography in Sweden, the documentary traces the fascinating journey of the Haisla to reclaim their traditional mortuary pole. Bringing to light a powerful story of cultural rejuvenation, the film raises provocative questions about the ownership and meaning of Aboriginal objects held in museums. Cardinal skillfully layers compelling interviews, striking imagery and rare footage of master carvers as they create a replica pole. The Haisla have fulfilled a promise to the museum to replace the original totem. Now, having honoured their end of the bargain, they await the return of the G’psgolox pole.


screening with:

Totem: Return and Renewal (Gil Cardinal | 2007 | 24 min)

In this follow-up to his 2003 film, Totem: the Return of the G’psgolox Pole, filmmaker Gil Cardinal documents the events of the final journey of the G’psgolox Pole as it returns home to Kitamaat and the Haisla people, from where it went missing in 1929.

Discussion to follow the screening. Free admission at the door. No registration required.

For more info, email or (705) 286-3763

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