Totem is a short short story by Thomas King discussing the way the Canadian Goverment and colonization treated the indigenous people in the past. Thomas King uses a lot of satire through the story.

He also uses symbols to demonstrate the struggles faced by the indigenous people. Totem poles are there to describe the Aboriginal community museum as the land, and art in the museum is the Canadian culture, and the “director and staff” are the government.

The totem pole should not be thrown away, because it is true Canadian history from the aborginal people. Thomas King also uses similes in his story “Maybe if we ignore it, it will stop singing,” said Jimmy.

“It might even go away or disappear or something. Besides, we don’t have any place to put it. Maybe, after a while, you wouldn’t even notice it ... like living next to the train tracks or by a highway.” (Page 4, Line 1-4)

This is seen when, he compares two different things, and in this case, he is comparing a totem pole with living next to the train tracks or by a highway, to highlight how the Canadian government and european settlers thought they were as irritating as living next to a highway.