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SEATTLE - A totem pole carved to honor the memory of woodcarver, John T. Williams, will be carried through the streets of Seattle from Pier 57 to the Seattle Center where it will be presented as gift to the City of Seattle tomorrow.
The 34 foot Memorial Totem Arrives at Seattle Center
This honorable act is being done in spite of the dishonorable way John T. Williams met his death.
John T. Williams was fatally shot by former Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk on August 30, 2010. Williams was carrying a knife, which served as a tool for woodcarving, and a piece of wood in downtown Seattle. Officer Birk ordered him to drop the knife. When Williams did not put the knife down, he was shot four times by Birk.
“I, like my brother, am a First Nations carver in the heritage and tradition of my people and my family who have been carving in Seattle since at least 1926”
comments Rick Williams, brother of the slain woodcarver.
"We invite all of Seattle to experience the traditional pole raising ceremony on February 26 and to visit the pole once it is standing. We give the John T. Williams totem pole to the City of Seattle in the hope that it will be a symbol of peace and honor for many generations."
The totem pole was created to honor John T Williams, American Indians and First Nations people. The creation of the honor totem pole was a collaborative effort of Rick Williams, other members of the Williams family, Native woodcarvers, friends and community supporters.
Volunteers and Crew Prepare Memorial Totem for Placement
Carved from Western Red Cedar from the southern part of the state of Washington, the honor totem will stand 34 feet tall when erected at Seattle Center. Its placement is 500 feet east of Seattle's Space Needle that is a major Pacific Northwest landmark. Seattle Center is located at the north end of downtown Seattle.
The proposed schedule of events on Sunday February 26, 2012 begins with a Gathering at Pier 57 (1300 block of Alaskan Way) at 10:00 am. A processions will carry the pole to the Seattle Center. At 1:00 pm the Pole will be raised and at 2:00 pm the Program & Celebration of Gifting the Pole to City of Seattle.
The John T Williams totem pole project is accepting tax deductible individual donations. Donate Here
posted February 25, 2012 6:00 am est
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