BEL Contracting and Pro-Tech Industrial Movers helped raise a Reconciliation Pole at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as part of a traditional Haida ceremony held on Saturday, April 1, 2017. The totem pole, carved from an 800 year old red cedar from Haida Gwaii, was commissioned by the Audain Foundation and UBC to represent the legacy of residential schools and the reconciliation of indigenous and non-indigenous people across Canada. Haida artist James Hart designed and carved the totem pole, which includes 6,000 copper nails pounded flat into the surface by residential school survivors, volunteers and school children to represent indigenous children who died at residential schools across the country between 1890 and 1996.
Prior to the ceremony, Pro-Tech Industrial Movers engineered a procedure that allowed the totem pole to be raised by the traditional method of pulling on ropes. BEL Contracting prepared the site at UBC by excavating a hole for the base of the totem pole and placing piles of gravel and rocks to be used as part of the ceremony and backfill. During the ceremony, the 32,000 lbs of pull force required to raise the totem pole was provided by hundreds of people pulling on over 3,500 feet of rope. The pole was raised to its vertical position in approximately 10 minutes, at which time the ropes were locked in place and backfilling was completed.
BEL Contracting & Pro-Tech Industrial Movers were honoured to take part in this important ceremony.