This is the view looking back into Alert Bay as the ferry leaves. An amazing potlatch gallery can be seen with its beautiful white mural. Juxtaposed behind it is a crumbling residential school. Towering over everything, even the trees, is the tallest totem pole imaginable.

Alert Bay

Potlatch Gallery and the dilapidated residential school

Super mega totem pole

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3 Responses to Alert!

  1. Alice! says:

    Love you guys!

    Living vicariously through you since earlier today

  2. Tom Curran says:

    Very interesting. Has the community made an explicit decision to leave the residential school there as a reminder of the past, at least for some time? I can’t imagine it is still used for much, is it?

    • kaan says:

      I don’t know the answer to your first question. I suspect that a proper demolition is quite expensive. I, for one, am quite content to see local money spent on improving local facilities such as the cultural centre as long as the building is not dangerous. I would probably take a position that the cost of demolition should fall to the federal government but, in the list of prioritized “asks” that first peoples have, I would be surprised if this was near the top of the list.

      Recently (less than a year ago was my impression) the basement was reclaimed by some artists who turned it into a woodworking shop. Unfortunately a bad storm has just found its way into the increasingly permeable building and the artists returned from a weekend away to find 10+ cm of water on the floor. The basement was newly out of use when we were there.

      I am not sure if other parts of the building are in use but it certainly was not alive with activity when we were there (midday on a Thursday).

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