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.