Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole + Totem: Return and Renewal

III. Repatriation
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Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole
Canada 2003. Dir: Gil Cardinal. 70 min. DCP

“This feature-length documentary traces the journey of the Haisla people to reclaim the G'psgolox totem pole that went missing from their B.C. village in 1929. The fate of the 19th-century traditional mortuary pole remained unknown for over sixty years until it was discovered in a Stockholm museum, where it is considered state property by the Swedish government. Director Gil Cardinal combines interviews, striking imagery, and rare footage of master carvers to raise questions about ownership and the meaning of Indigenous objects held in museums” (National Film Board of Canada). Cardinal, an Alberta-born Métis, also directed Foster Child, named one of Canada’s 150 essential moving-images works in 2017’s Canada on Screen program.

— followed by —





Totem: Return and Renewal
Canada 2007. Dir: Gil Cardinal. 23 min. DCP

“In this follow-up to his 2003 film Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole, filmmaker Cardinal documents the events of the final journey of the G'psgolox Pole as it returns home to Kitamaat Village and the Haisla Nation, from where it went missing in 1929” (National Film Board of Canada).

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Introduced by Lindsay McIntyre (MFA/Inuk/Settler), filmmaker and Assistant Professor, Film + Screen Arts, Emily Carr University