The John T. Williams Memorial Pole was erected to raise awareness of the traditions, history, and culture of Seattle’s native populations. Williams, a First Nations woodcarver, was fatally shot by former Seattle police Officer Ian Birk in August 2010. Williams was carrying a knife and a piece of wood when he was shot.
Carved by Williams’ family and friends, the 34-foot pole includes depictions of a perched eagle, mother raven and a figure of a woodcarver. Located at Seattle Center, the Memorial Pole was installed and gifted to the City of Seattle during a ceremony on Sunday, February 26, 2012.
The pro bono design team was led by Suyama Peterson Deguchi; other pro bono contributors include Andersen Construction, Swenson Say Faget, GeoEngineers, Malcolm Drilling, GeoTest, B & B Aircraft Equipment and Ness Crane. Fundraising and pro bono contributions are still being sought for Phase II, which is scheduled to begin in fall 2012.