In 2023, Sealaska Heritage raised 12 totem poles along the Juneau waterfront as part of Kootéeyaa Deiyí (Totem Pole Trail), which is phase three of our vision to make Juneau the Northwest Coast arts capital. The goal is to eventually raise a total of 30 totems.
Northwest Coast art (NWC) evolved over several thousand years in the rich and complex Indigenous societies of the Pacific Northwest of North America. Wood carvings, weavings, and other cultural pieces depicting NWC art were aggressively collected by museums and Western explorers and acclaimed as one of the most distinctive and unique art traditions in the world. One of the most distinctive and widely-known art forms in NWC art is the totem pole. Totem poles were carved from large red cedar trees and erected in front of our villages, welcoming visitors who arrived by sea. The totem poles were carved with the crests and spirits of our clans and depicted significant events and clan histories.
Seven of the totems represent the following clans: the L’eeneidí, Wooshkeetaan, Yanyeidí, Ishkahittaan, Kaagwaantaan, L’uknax̱.ádi and the Shangukeidí. Of the remaining five totems, four represent the Haida Eagles and Ravens and the Tlingit Eagles and Ravens, and one represents the Tsimshian.
Explore Kootéeyaa Deiyí using our pocket guide!