This poem, Tribute, is in response to the totem pole, or Čiinuł, raised in Tofino by Tla-o-qui-aht carver,  Joe David on September 7, 2018. The pole reminds all people to respect the Tla-o-qui-aht Hawiił, (hereditary chiefs) whose immaculate stewardship of these lands and waters is the embodiment of responsible leadership. The beautiful teaching of hishuk ish tsawalk (everything is one) and the value of stewardship were my inspirations for this.
I was honoured to present this poem at the celebration following the pole raising.



6 Comments for “TRIBUTE”

Josephine Fletcher


I like “when the quiet voices grow loud and jubilant” .This sounds unstoppable .All is possible when we have reverence for land and it’s inhabitants and reviving the cultural ways and language in a ecologicial way not of books but empathy to as it is was and can be. Thank you Joanna for conveying a difficult poem.

Shelly Silva


Such a beautiful and poignant tribute, Joanna. An eloquent truth with optimism for the future. Thank you for sharing.