ON elementary school takes down 44-year-old totem pole after deeming it cultural appropriation

October 18, 2017

An Ontario elementary school removed a decades-old totem pole from outside its front entrance this month after discovering that it was built without input from Indigenous community members. Grade 6 students at Summitview Public School in Stouffville, located about 50 km north of Toronto, carved the totem pole in 1973. Former teacher Bernadine Mumford, who started the project, told the Stouffville Sun-Tribune it was a part of a Canadian history exercise that was meant to show the “great harm” done to Indigenous peoples. After “community-based concerns” emerged about the structure, the York Region District School Board decided that the totem pole amounted to cultural appropriation. Representatives] from the Chippewas of Georgina Island agreed that the rickety structure should come down. National Post