In honor of Earth Day, we’re starting off a week of shows devoted to environmental issues with a discussion about totem poles. For the communities that create them, they hold significant cultural value and are much more than art. There are many tribes in Canada and the U.S.—including the Tlingit, Haida and the Tsimshian, to name a few—that carve poles. They typically use old growth trees, which are harder and harder to come by. We’ll talk with carvers about the history and tradition of totem poles.
David R. Boxley (Tsimshian) – traditional Tsimshian artist and totem pole carver
James Hart (Haida) – hereditary chief of the Saanggalh Stastas clan
T. J. Young (member of the Haida Nation) – traditional Haida carver
Break music: Hummingbird Song (song) Fred Louis and Ella Thompson (artist) Haida: Indian Music of the Pacific