Lt. Governor Welcomes Public To View Image Of New Seward Totem Pole

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - The October 6th First Friday event in Juneau included an open house at the Lt. Governor's Office. Byron Mallott welcomed the public personally to view a large, high-resolution photograph of a totem pole that has a representation of former Secretary of State William Seward perched on the top.

    The October 6th First Friday event in Juneau included an open house at the Lt. Governor's Office.  Byron Mallott welcomed the public personally to view a large, high-resolution photograph of a totem pole that has a representation of former Secretary of State William Seward perched on the top.  Seward orchestrated the 1867 purchase of Russian claimed territory in Alaska.  This photograph shows the third pole to interpret the message from an Alaska Native Clan, the Tongass People, to Seward.  The prior two poles had rotted in succession and were replaced.  The current pole is in the Alaska Native Village of Saxman, in Ketchikan.

    Mallott said the pole is a reminder to treat others with respect in all matters.  The pole is an unflattering portrayal of Seward in response to his attending a potlatch given by the Tongass People and then failing to reciprocate.  This is a serious breach of etiquette in Alaska Native Culture. 

    Lt. Byron Mallott said the pole is a reminder of respect not offered saying, "There has been a lack of closure and I think the Seward Pole kind of represents that in a very clear, powerful way.  But it is not a closure people are sitting around waiting for.  People are continuing to grow and develop and create lives and our own history and our own society as Alaskans all, in this place.But it is appropriate, I think, to continue these conversations to work toward having respect for every single Alaskan."

    The photograph will remain on display outside the Lt. Governor's Office on the third floor of the Capitol Building in Juneau.  

     

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