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JASPER, ALBERTA, September 6, 2009–The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, accompanied by the Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, Alberta, today announced that Parks Canada would soon be getting a new totem pole in Jasper National Park of Canada as part of the government of Canada’s investment in visitor experience in Canada’s national parks.“Haida totem poles are an important symbol of Canadian art and who we are as Canadians, second only to the Group of Seven,” said Minister Prentice. “I am therefore pleased to announce that Parks Canada will be replacing the Jasper Totem Pole, which so many were sad to see go, with a new carving from its original home on the west coast of Canada.”
The original Raven Totem Pole stood in Jasper for 93 years, after being moved east from the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1916. In April of 2009, Parks Canada made the decision to lower the Jasper Raven Totem Pole after long-term exposure to the weather was revealed to have weakened the 130-year-old structure to the point of posing a public safety hazard. The historic carving – a popular icon in Jasper for both residents and tourists – is currently being stored while Parks Canada works with the Council of the Haida Nation to determine an appropriate final resting place for the structure.
“We heard from many visitors and residents that the totem pole was a cherished local landmark,” said Minister Prentice. “We intend to work closely with our partners in Haida Gwaii in coastal B.C, both to commission a new landmark totem pole for Jasper, and to find a home for the historic one.”
“Parks Canada’s newly renovated facilities in Jasper, including Wilcox Pass, Maligne Canyon, Athabasca Falls, and the Jasper Park Information Centre National Historic Site, present wonderful opportunities for some fascinating, authentic experiences for visitors of our national parks,” said Minister Merrifield.
Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada’s historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future. Through a network of 42 national parks, 162 national historic sites, and three national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians, as well as people from around the world, to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery of Canada’s treasured natural and historic places.
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Media Relations and Executive Services
Jasper National Park
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