"Like the elders, each totem pole is a teacher, a storyteller"
- Norman Tait, carver
"totem pole says, ‘We’re here! Native people are alive!"
- Director, Native Education Centre

Our Books


By Vickie Jensen
ISBN: 1-55054-232-X
Carving A Totem Pole
Format: 32 Pages; 40 Black & White Photographs
Bulk order pricing available (5 or more books) – Please contact us for more information
List Price: $14.95 USD/CDN + tax

Through text and sepia-toned photographs, author Vickie Jensen takes children on a three-month adventure into a Northwest Coast carving shed as Nisga’a artist Norman Tait and crew create a 42-foot (12.8 m) totem pole.

CARVING A TOTEM POLE invites readers behind the scenes to learn about choosing the perfect giant cedar tree, the laborious processes of rough hewing and fine carving, and finally the traditional native ceremonies for raising a completed totem pole. The simple, straightforward text and striking photographs show clearly that carving a totem pole is both a technical artistic achievement and a spiritual process as well.

This book chronicles an art form that was almost lost—and now is being passed down to a new generation of young carvers. CARVING A TOTEM POLE is an excellent resource for students, teachers and others who want to discover the culture, art and traditions of Northwest Coast native peoples.