The totem is likely a leftover relic from the unspecified Native American community that once owned the land prior to its colonization by settlers. The totem has since then been mystified by students and facility who have little to no information on its origins. The only person with any information on it is Michelle Grant, who states that no one actually knows where the Tobanga came from. Grant speculates that it was stolen from somewhere along the Pacific coast south of Arcadia Bay. 
Events of Life Is Strange
During her attempt to enter the dormitory, Max Caulfield spots the totem across the way. She remembers that her friend, Warren Graham, told her that the totem was named "Tobanga", but no one really knew why.
At some point, for a reason possibly related to its reputation, Nathan Prescott attempted to steal the Tobanga from school grounds. He did not succeed, and the Tobanga remains in its customary spot across from the dormitory grounds. Later on, when birds began dying across Arcadia Bay, dozens of dead birds were buried near the Tobanga by Blackwell caretaker Samuel.