Sovereignty and Resistance

This theme offers film excerpts on land claims, management of natural resources, ancestral rights and recovery of Aboriginal cultural artefacts. It also presents images showing the resistance of Aboriginal peoples to repression by non-Aboriginal culture.


Our Nationhood

Our Nationhood 3

Our Nationhood 5

Riel Country

Riel Country 3

Riel Country 4

Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole

Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole 2

Totem: The Return of the G'psgolox Pole

2003, Director: Cardinal, Gil

excerpt 2      3 min 29 s


Description The Haisla people of Kitamaat Village are facing a dilemma. If they want to repatriate the G’psgolox pole, they have to comply with the Swedish government’s condition that it be kept in a museum. But this runs against their ancient traditions, whereby the totem pole has to be left outside so it can return to Mother Earth at the end of its days. Members of the community discuss the issues.
Questions 1. What aspects of the repatriation from Sweden of the G’psgolox pole still trouble the Haisla and Xanasiyala people of Kitamaat?

2. What compromise do the Kitamaat Elders struggle with regarding the conditions for repatriation of the G’psgolox pole from Sweden?

About This Film

Short Description

In 1929, the G’psgolox, a funerary totem pole belonging to the Haisla people, was cut down and transported to Europe. It was discovered in a Swedish museum in 1991. The film recounts the efforts of members of the Haisla Nation from the village of Kitamaat to recuperate the sacred object.

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