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Two totem poles taken from former Malahat Mountain Inn site

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Two heavy totem poles have stolen from the former Malahat Mountain Inn, its owner say.

Shawnigan Lake RCMP are on the case, tracing who took the poles weighing between 300 and 500 pounds, co-owner Lori Strandlund told Victoria's CFAX radio station today.

One pole is named the Malahat Chief, she said, adding she and husband, Randy, just want their landmark artworks back.

They were swiped "by someone who has no respect for history or tradition," said Strandlund, co-owner of Malahat Chalet and Moon Water Lodge.

A third pole was hefted from its base and was found down an embankment as the thrives apparently were unable to take it too.

The totems have stood at the Island Highway site for some 70 years.

The poles' value wasn't given, but it generally costs at least $1,000 per foot for Native artists to carve totems.

Strandlund urged folks to look for properties sporting a totem pole, and call the police.

Shawnigan Mounties can be called at 250-743-5514.

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