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Downtown Eastside totem pole fundraisers are closing in on their goal

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Organizers of an online crowdfunding drive are getting close to reaching their goal to pay for a 30-foot “Survivors Totem Pole” for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The $15,000 Kickstarter effort expires on Sunday.

The totem pole is being carved out of a 980-year-old red cedar log that was moved here from Haida Gwaii. The project is meant to represent the many stories of survival that fill the Downtown Eastside.

“Displacement, head taxing… we had decided that we’re going to do the Survivors Totem Pole just to add a little history with it,” says master carver Skundaal.

She says the Downtown Eastside is home to victims of violence, homelessness, addiction, and racism, who all have one thing in common: survival.

A special event next month is meant to bring them all together.

“We have the unveiling coming up on August 28th, with the elders in the community, with us and the South Asian, the Japanese, and the Chinese community, First Nations, non-native community,” explains Skundaal.

Where the totem pole will be raised hasn’t been revealed yet, but the raising ceremony is set to go ahead September 27th.

Click here to find out more about the Kickstarter effort.