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No Totem Pole at Oregon Country Fair After Complaints From Native Americans

"The Board of Directors offers apology for the distress our actions regarding the story pole have caused to those Native Peoples and members of our family who have been affected by this process."

The Oregon Country Fair Board of Directors has voted unanimously not to raise the highly contentious "story pole," which Native American groups have continually objected to over the past year.

Related: Members of Native American Tribes Say Oregon Country Fair's "Story Pole" Is An Abomination

Siletz tribe member Autumn Depoe-Hughes has called the wood-caved pole "an abomination," and in recent months, Native American groups have documented their efforts to urge OCF not to raise the pole. 

The decision comes after a previous Board vote in April to raise the pole despite objectsion. At that time the story pole was approved 8-2, with the added caveat that an informational display be added that would address concerns about whether the story pole is '"Culturally Inspired Art or Cultural Appropriation." The display would also allow people to  provide feedback.

Last week, OCF told WW they still planned to raise the pole, despite continued pushback from Native American groups.

After WW published a story on the controversy, the OCF held another Board vote Monday night and unanimously overturned its previous decision. Every member voted not only to not raise the pole—but to not allow it onto OCF property.

OCF has declined to comment further, but did release the following statement the same night:

The Ritz Sauna, the group who's responsible for building the pole, sent this statement to WW: