Title: Kwakiutl Totem Pole
Address: South grounds, Manitoba Legislature
Unveiled: July 20, 1971
Artist: Henry Hunt
This six metre, cedar totem was commissioned by the B.C. Centennial Commission and presented to Manitoba to celebrate the anniversary of B.C.'s entry into confederation.
The base shows a chief wrapped in a ceremonial blanket to represent the foundation of the Kwakiutl people of Vancouver Island. It is topped by the thunderbird, symbol of power and strength.
Artist Henry Hunt (1923 - 1985) worked in a number of mediums but as a result of becoming the chief carver for the First Nation it is his sculpture that he is most noted for. That artistic tradition is carried on by his four children, including Richard Hunt, and now his grandchildren such as Tony Hunt Jr.
By the turn of the century the totem was worn by the elements and rot had set into the wood. Local artist Dwayne Ball approached the Legislature with a plan to repair and restore it. In 2006 he spent four weeks in the park behind the legislature doing just that.