Having some time between recent doctor appointments at the UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, I drew this totem created by master Tsimshian carver David Boxley as a tribute to his sister-in-law Cindy Sue James (1965-2016). Dedicated May 6, 2007, the totem honors her legacy and pays tribute to all cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.
The top figure is the Eagle, or Laxskiik, of the Tsimshian Nation. Below is a shaman wearing a bear-claw headdress and representing doctors and caregivers battling cancer. At the base is Cindy Sue, serving as the foundation for her family and tenderly clutching the shoulders of her grandson, Dominic, 7, “the light of her life, from the day he was born.”