SITKA, ALASKA A popular totem pole in downtown Sitka's Totem Square is headed for a makeover.
Known as a “shame” pole, it depicts a naked Alexander Baranof, a man who carries a lot of emotional weight in Sitka. Chief Manager of the Russian American Company in the early 19th century and the first Colonial Governor of Russian America, Baranof also presided over a pivotal battle between the Russians and the Sitka Tlingit.
Decades after the Baranof pole was carved, some people want to give him back his clothes and turn the symbol of ridicule into one of healing.