Thunderbird Park was established in 1941 when a display of totem poles from the provincial museum's collection was set up at the corner of Belleville and Douglas streets in Victoria. In 1952 Anthropology Curator Wilson Duff initiated a pole restoration program and hired Kwakwaka'wakw master carver, Mungo Martin, as chief carver for Thunderbird Park.
Over a number of years, the original poles were moved to inside storage and replaced by replica versions carved by Martin and others working under his direction, including Henry Hunt and Hunt's sons, Tony and Richard. After Martin's death in 1962, Henry Hunt became chief carver, followed by Richard Hunt and the Nuu-chah-nulth artist, Tim Paul.
All of the poles now in Thunderbird Park were carved in the Carving Studio building there. All are versions of the originals with the exception of the heraldic pole in front of Wawadiťła and the more recent honouring pole by Sean Whonnock and Johnathan Hunt.Back to Home