Via CBC, December 1, 2022
The National Museum of Scotland says it will return a memorial totem pole taken nearly a century ago from the Nisga’a Nation in British Columbia.
The museum says its board of trustees approved the First Nation’s request to transfer the pole to its home in northwest B.C.
A delegation of Nisga’a leaders travelled to Edinburgh last August to request the transfer of the 11-metre pole back to their territory.
Nisga’a Nation Chief Earl Stephens says in a statement their people believe the pole, which was hand-carved in the mid-1800s, is alive with the spirit of an ancestor, and it’s now coming home to rest.
The Ni’isjoohl memorial pole is “a living constitutional and visual archive,” said Noxs Ts’aawit (Dr. Amy Parent), a Canada research chair in Indigenous education and governance at Simon Fraser University and part of the delegation that visited Scotland earlier this year.
“So to have it removed is like having someone rip out a chapter of Canada’s constitution and your most treasured family photo album and place it in a museum in another country to be viewed by foreigners on a daily basis,” she said.