Contributed by Leanne Guenther
"Becky" saw some kids making totem poles out of toilet paper rolls at the bookstore and thought it looked fun, so she asked her mom for some ideas (and her mom asked me). Thanks for the suggestion!
In North America, totem poles often served to proclaim a clan's status. The figures (often animal spirits) carved onto the poles symbolize a clan's mythological history, as well as the rights and privileges it enjoys.
Unlike aboriginal peoples in the United States (who prefer to be referred to as Native Americans), the aboriginals in Canada are known as the First Nations peoples. There are about 600 aboriginal bands who still call Canada home. Totem poles were made by Native Americans and First Nations people.
A second option is to replace all or some of the
template pieces with totems representing your own family history. These could be
photos of family members or "animal spirits" (your teddy bear, pet dog or cat, a
favorite zoo or farm animal) cut from photographs, colouring books or magazines. If
the template pieces are too scary for your child, this is a great alternative!