Much more than an identifying symbol, the Native Canadian Centre’s totem pole represents the strength, pride and power of the urban Native Community in Toronto. The 12m high totem pole was donated in 1980 by artist Don McLeay, born in Saskatchewan in 1940, of Plains Cree origin.
On September 13, 1980 a pole rising ceremony was conducted on the front lawn of the NCCT. Using several tones of Red Cedar, the pole was designed with the use of clan systems from this part of the country to represent the coming together of people from different nations at the NCCT. Some totems presented are a bear with a salmon in its paws, a wolf with a human in its paws, raven, thunderbird, weasel, turtle, and a frog.
By Amber Sandy