One of the highlights on our 2016 “Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey” was a visit by boat to the Gitxsan Community of Gitegukla. Gitsegukla roughly translates to “people living under the precipice” or more specifically under the “Segukla” or “sharp-pointed” mountain. A few of the community members toured us through the village to view a variety of poles and told us about the history of each. Each pole represents a house or family crest that illustrate historical events that occured in the past.
Totem poles are typically not maintained after their raising and usually last from 60 to 75 years with a few reaching 100 years of age. A fallen pole is usually left to rot in the in the place it has fallen and thee owners can commission a new one to replace it.
We can’t wait to go back in early August 2017 on the Skeena River Tour to visit them again!