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New totem poles possibly coming to Courtenay landmarks

COURTENAY, B.C. – Two carvers from the K’ómoks First Nation have started work on two new totem poles.

Randy Frank and Karver Everson recently completed two poles to grace the entrance of the Comox Valley Art Gallery.

Now, they’re on to their next project.

According to Everson, Frank’s carving is planned to be installed at Mount Washington, while his totem pole will be set up at the Courtenay Airpark.

“I plan on doing a guardian figure on the top and then, it’s called a skway-way on the bottom,” Everson said, speaking about his totem pole.

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“In ancestral times, one of the first stories that we had, one of the Pentlatch in K’ómoks’ origin stories, from the Quinsam River and he came down and transformed into a human and that’s the story that I’m depicting on the pole.”

Everson said he’s not sure where exactly the pole will be installed at the park, but noted it will be facing the water.

Frank’s totem pole will feature a grizzly bear on the top, and a thunderbird, representing the Pentlatch tribe, on the bottom.

“The (grizzly bear represents) a northern K’ómoks tribe, and the Pentlatch were southern, so it kinds of talks about that amalgamation and the coming together between the two,” Everson said.

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That pole’s location is also yet to be determined, but is planned to be installed somewhere at Mount Washington.

“It’s (about) preserving our culture, our teachings, our stories and I’m just passing by this to our young children coming up, for them to know who they are and where they come from. That’s one of the reasons I do what I do, and I try to pass along as much as I can for our future,” Everson added.

He said the poles should be completed and ready to install some time before the end of this month.

Sheila Rivers at Mount Washington said meetings were being planned to discuss development on the project. According to City of Courtenay communications manager Anne Guillo, CAO David Allen has reached out to the K’ómoks First Nation to discuss the proposed totem poles.

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