The Eaglechild totem pole has been a historic landmark at the North Saskatchewan river bank for 45 years.

On Monday morning, the 35-foot-tall artifact was removed during a removal and moving ceremony. It will be restored and laid to rest at Okanese First Nation located northeast of Regina.

Darlene Stonechild, sister of artist Dale Stonechild, said she was filled with emotion as she travelled to downtown Prince Albert to speak at the ceremony.

“I am happy and I am also sad because a part of history is going away from Prince Albert but it’s coming back to be rejuvenated back into his home community,” she said.

“So my grandchildren, his grandchildren, his family has a piece of him when he’s not here.”

The city’s public art department had concluded that the totem pole needed to be taken down due to its deterioration and the instability of its wings.

Eaglechild was carved by Saskatchewan Penitentiary inmates James Sutherland and his assistant, Dale Stonechild.

In 1975, the totem pole was donated by the inmates to the City of Prince Albert.