Totems Tour

The volunteer Totem Sub-Committee consists of dedicated community leaders who had the vision for this exhibit. The Sub-Committee designed the project to include the original stories told by the artists for each of the poles. Funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage for the City’s 2012 centenary gave the Committee the opportunity to gather the stories and create the interpretive signage.

Yellow Footprints painted on the street

Yellow Footprints painted on the street for self-guided totem walking tour in front of Cowichan Valley Museum

Proudly living up to the name “The City of Totems”, Duncan has over 40 beautifully carved totems scattered all around the City. With rich history behind each totem, it is a “Must See” on your visit to Duncan. Embark on a journey of culture and history by following the yellow footprints and start the self-guided walking tour or take a virtual tour with our interactive map.


When you take a picture of a totem, the entire totem tells a story. Each totem is accompanied with a sign and a bio of the carver. When posting to social media, or getting a print done for your use, it is respectful to acknowledge the carver and the name of the pole.

The City of Duncan owns the totems and copyrights to the collection. In 2009, the City created a  ” Totem Image Use” policy to ensure credit was given to the carver. If you plan to use the totem images for commercial or promotional use, please fill out a  Totem Image Use Application and submit to for consideration and approval by the Totem Sub-Committee.

Start the Tour