Sitka totem pole adds stature to Census

Posted: Friday, February 19, 2010

SITKA - Alaska historically has placed last among the states in the percentage of mail-back questionnaires returned to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But the U.S. Census is hoping to change that.

The Census Bureau has commissioned a totem pole to raise awareness, encourage participation in the census, and recognize the government-to-government partnership between Alaska tribes and the Census Bureau.

Sitka carver Tommy Joseph completed the pole in 15 days, and it had its first public viewing atop a truck in Tuesday's Elizabeth Peratrovich Day parade in Sitka.

The pole has now left Sitka for a statewide tour, starting in Anchorage at the annual Fur Rondy celebration.

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