Sep 052015

Kujuuhl Evelyn Vanderhoop at the Haida Gwaii Museum Photo: Geoff Horner

News from the Haida Gwaii: On Friday, August 21, master weaver Kujuuhl (Evelyn Vanderhoop) released her most recent Naaxiin robe in a Coming Out Ceremony at the Haida Gwaii Museum. There it was cut from the loom, then danced by Evelyn and her daughter Carrie Anne Vanderhoop, who assisted Evelyn in her weaving.

The robe’s design was inspired by an old robe, collected on Haida Gwaii by ethnologist James Deans in the 1880’s.

The unique design represents Qingi, the Ruler of the Sea.
The robe will now receive its final fringes and the top will be edged with fur.
It will then be delivered to the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. Artist Kujuuhl Evenlyn Vanderhoop will make presentations and demonstrations in the art museum during the following week. Finally, the Naaxin robe will go the American collectors who commissioned the robe.

Sep 052015

An exhibition opening and artist talk will take place at the Haida Gwaii Museum on Saturday, September 19th, 2015, at the Haida Heritage Centre.

A musing of Manga, work by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, continues to January 3, 2016.

More on the Haida Heritage Centre at

To follow the impressive activities of Yahgulanaas, see

Aug 052015

Lisa Hageman Yahgulanaas, Chief’s Headdress Phot: Courtesy of the artist

Until August 9, 2015, Haida artist/weaver Lisa Hageman Yahgulanaas is participating in an exhibition at Toronto’s Harbourfront in an event known as Planet IndigenUS. This organization, originally a festival, now partners with the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford Ontario and has come to encompass year round programming and resource building. The 2015 program at Harbourfront includes contributions from over 300 indigenous artists, presenting many different cultural expressions.

The visual art exhibition Over and Under, at the Power Plant,includes weavers from First Nations across Canada.

Lisa Hageman’s chief’s headdress incorporates glass for the first time. As she describes it: “I dreamt of this headdress and thus had to learn glass work and hope that my vision and the reality came close.  They did.  I wanted to marry the weaving with the glass and love that as you approach the headdress, the weaving glimmers through and becomes one with the red glass copper frontlet.”

Aug 052015
Group of people wearing button blankets and cedar hats

The Haida Heritage Centre, Haida Gwaii Photo Credit: Haida Heritage Centre

The Haida Gwaii Heritage Centre is one of the finest sights in the Haida Gwaii, aside from the extremely beautiful natural scenery.

Saturday August 15 is the 7th Anniversary of the opening of the Centre at “Kay”, with events continuing throughout the day. “The Kay Anniversary offers us as Haida peoples a chance to share our culture with visitors, come together as a community, eat delicious food and showcase the living culture of the Haida peoples.”

The Centre now includes the fine Haida Museum, the”Kay Bistro”, performance space, a carving house, and heritage and educational offices.

On August 14, 2015, there is a fundraising event for the Centre, with jazz duo Sister Says, starting at 6:30 (tickets $15-20).

Opening in September at the museum is an exhibition of work by noted Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

Nov 052014


Gwaai and Jaalan Edenshaw at work in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
Photo: Laura Peers

A ground-breaking project undertaken by Haida artists Gwaii and Jaalen Edenshaw has brought a superb copy of a Haida box to the Haida Gwaii.

“The Great Box” was collected by General Pitt Rivers by 1874 and has been in the museum he founded at Oxford University in England since its founding in 1884.

With a close relationship developing between the Haida nation and the museum, two Haida artists proposed that they make an exact replica of the box as a deep learning experience. Funding was secured from the university in 2014 and Gwaai and Jaalen Edenshaw spent the following September at the museum. They brought with them a blank cedar bentwood box which they proceeded to carve and paint, referring to the old box in the same room. They commented on the richness of their contact with the old box, how they could see the direction and depth of the relief carving on the box, elements not visible in photographs. They also have been working on attributing certain other work to the same artist who carved the Great Box.

The box returned home in October to the Haida Gwaii; other artists participate in the finishing process. The Edenshaw brothers plan to use the new box in their theatre and animation productions.

Jaalen and Gwaai Edenshaw gave a workshop on their experience to a gathering of British hand woodcarvers in September, and a curatorial talk will be given at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Learning from the Masters: Recarving the Great Box on November 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm

For more details, see research.html

Oct 052014

Haida artist Isabel Rorick is exhibiting spruce root weaving at the Stonington Gallery in Seattle, until October 31, 2014. Her show Awakening will focus in particular on regalia used in Haida celebrations, and include baskets, hats and rattles. In her artist’s statement, Rorick speaks of the need for an awakening of how we treat our world.

Oct 052014

Trace Yeomans at Fazakas Gallery. Photo: Ann Cameron

In Vancouver, Trace Yeomans is showing recent work at the Fazakas Gallery on West 6th Avenue near Main until October 20, 2014. Raven’s View includes a number of oil paintings where traditional Haida style mixes with a naturalistic mode of expression, and sculptures in many media.

Aug 072014

Lisa Hageman Yahgulanaas weaving a Raven’s Tail Robe at the Haida Gwaii Museum, 2014 Photo: Kelsey Pelton Copyright Haida Gwaii Museum

The Haida Heritage Centre and the Haida Gwaii Museum will hold a special celebration on Saturday, August 16, 2014, to mark the sixth anniversary of the grand opening of the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate. The Centre, called “Kay” locally, will host a clan parade with family fun and cultural celebrations, including storytelling and dance performances.

Haida weaver Lisa Hageman is creating a robe in the Raven’s Tail style in the museum, until August 14, 2014. The motif visible in the photograph of the artist above is the “Longhouse design”, a celebration of the concept of collective community spirit.

Jul 012014
Artist with Pole

Gwaai Edenshaw, Stone Ribs Pole, bronze Photo: David P. Ball

Haida artist Gwaai Edenshaw stands with the first in an edition of seven of his impressive bronze pole depicting the heroic legend of Stone Ribs. A dramatic telling of the story of Stone Ribs and its role in inspiring the artist will be posted soon at

Jul 012014

Art & Artist in Haida Society At the Haida Gwaii Museum

Opening on June 28, 2014, Art & Artist in Haida Society, is an exhibit which brings together works of art which reflect important moments in Haida history. In the Haida language the show is called Gina Suuda tl’l Xasii, which means “came to tell something”. It will be held at the Haida Gwaii Museum near Skidegate, HG.

Curator Nika Collison emphasizes, “An important goal of this exhibition is to look at the art beyond its physical form – what is it telling, what does it embody? What is its intended use and then, where, when, how?”

Among the eighty artifacts are Robert Davidson’s Eagle Spirit mask, Chief Jim Hart’s headdress, and a spruce-root hat that belongs to the family of Delores Churchill. Also of great importance is the Bear Drum of Haida leader Guujaw, whose name means drum. It became a symbol of his work as a dancer, singer, political activist, and artist. A book to accompany the exhibition will be published in August.

A series of talks has begun on themes related to the exhibition. On July 1 2014, there will be a program on the politics behind Haida art. and

For an informative CBC article on the exhibition, see

Apr 142014

Emerging From Out of the Margins

The Beat reader Dr. Fred White has written to announce the publication of his book Emerging From Out of the Margins : Essays in Haida Language, Culture and History, from the series Berkeley Insights in Linguistics and Semiotics. The publisher describes it as offering “a perspective on Haida culture that comes not only from external research but also from intimate knowledge and experiences the author has had as a Haida Nation citizen” and “addressing the question of how Native American and First Nations students learn and participate in the classroom setting.”


Mar 042014

Meghann O’Brien: Sky Blanket, 2014. Digital Design:Andy Everson

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver is opening an exhibition, Sky Blanket, focused on a new master work in the Raven’s Tail tradition by Meghann O’Brien.

O’Brien’s theme in the textile is the emergence of the human spirit face, evoking memory of place and objects in the past, present, and future. Inspired by her ancestors’ works, by their knowledge and aesthetics, and by ideas of the mountainous landscape of sky and snow, she reveals the intimate experience of her inner and outer worlds. Sky Blanket is curated by Dr. Martine Reid and sponsored by the Scriba Art Society.

The artist will give a talk at 2:30 pm on Thursday, March 6 2014, at the Gallery. She will speak about her journey from being an athlete to becoming a professional weaver in the tradition of her Kwakwaka’wakw and Haida ancestors.

A video of the artist is at

The exhibition RezErect: Native Erotica at the BRG has been extended to April 20, 2014.

For more information, see


Dec 312013

Newsletter of the Council of the Haida Nation

The December issue of the journal of the Haida nation, Haida Laas, has articles on a Raven’s Tail robe by Georgia Bennett, the Charles Edenshawexhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery until February 2 2014, Marlene Liddle’s 2013 BC Aboriginal Award, and Robert Davidson’s exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.


Dec 042013

This is Our Life: Haida Material Heritage and Changing Museum Practice by Cara Krmpotich

The launch of an important new book This is Our Life: Haida Material Heritage and Changing Museum Practice by Cara Krmpotich will take place at the Bill Reid Gallery on Saturday December 7, from 2-4 pm. Krmpotich was part of the team working at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford when a delegation of 21 members of the Haida nation visited the museum in 2009 to work with their material heritage. (See The Beat August 2008)

For more about the Bill Reid Gallery, its exhibition Rez/Erect and its programs, see


Apr 062013

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston Illinois (near Chicago) has opened an exhibition Another View of American Indian Fine Art which will run to September 1 2013.The exhibit presents significant developments in native art from the 1920’s to the present. Included are Kwakwaka’wakw artist Tony Hunt, Ron A. Sebastien and Haida Bill Reid. See

Jan 082013
Photo: Parks Canada

Photo: Parks Canada

The creation of a monumental new legacy pole destined to be raised in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve was described in The Beat December 2012. Now, after a powerful quake in October, and another in January 2013, Haida artist Jaalen Edenshaw and his assistant Tyler York have somewhat altered the design of the 42-foot pole to include a figure of Sacred-One-Standing-Alone-and-Moving, in Haida tradition a being responsible for the powerful tremors and shakes which happen relatively frequently in the Haida Gwaii.

The poster above is the original design: the figure at the bottom is a grizzly bear holding a sculpin, next above is Raven, above is Sea Grizzly in the original drawing, now to be replaced by Sacred-One-Standing-and-Moving, draped in the Wasgo (sea wolf) skin which enhanced his powers in his epic struggle to hold up the Haida Gwaii. The pole is topped by an eagle that stands above the Watchmen figures who protect the land. For more about the pole’s creation, see



Dec 082012
 Haida artist Jim Hart  working on Salmon Dance Screen at the VAG  Photo: Ann Cameron

Haida artist Jim Hart
working on Salmon Dance Screen at the VAG
Photo: Ann Cameron

The September 2012 issue of The Beat shows the ongoing work on the superb Salmon Dance Screen, now on the fourth floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery until 2014. Jim Hart, Chief Edansu, began to design and carve this commission by a private collector in 2009. The large panel depicts creatures associated in the Haida tradition with the salmon and the rites to ensure its continuing return. Carl Hart, John Brent Bennett, Leon Ridley and Brandon Brown are assisting Hart in the project.

On December 17 2012 the screen will be lifted to hang on the Gallery wall, for further work and painting.

Jul 122012


The Raincoast Conservation Foundation has chosen Haida artist Ben Davidson and environmental artist Sheila Karrow to participate in a project leading to a travelling exhibition and a book, Canada’s Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-free Coast, scheduled for publication in the fall. They are just two of the fifty BC artists who will use their art to express the beauty of the coast threatened by Enbridge’s Northern gateway pipeline. See QCI Observer, June 13 2012 at

Jun 072012
Meghann O’Brien, Mountain Goat Wool

Meghann O’Brien, Mountain Goat Wool

Kwakwaka’wakw/Haida textile artist Meghann  O’Brien is exhibiting at the Bill Reid Gallery in Journeying Into Form: The Mountain Goat Wool Project, from Wednesday June 13 2012. The show documents the transformation of raw, unshorn mountain goat pelts with guard hairs into  pure white cloud-like balls of drafted wool, which are then thigh-spun into weft yarn. As part of her training as a weaver, O’Brien discovered the world of the mountain goat and the real and symbolic qualities of the animal and its wool, “the essence of what the robes are made of.”

The exhibition will tour to France, where Meghann will participate in the International Festival of Extraordinary Textiles (FITE) in  Clermont-Ferrand (Sept 12-16, 2012). O’Brien is currently demonstrating her weaving art Wednesday to Sunday at Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology. See

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art continues with the photography exhibition That Which Makes Us Haida until September 9 2012.

Apr 012012
That Which Makes Us Haida.  Exhibition at Bill Reid Gallery.  Photo: Ann Cameron

That Which Makes Us Haida. Exhibition at Bill Reid Gallery. Photo: Ann Cameron

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver has opened an exhibition of large, expressive photographs by Farah Nosh of the elders of the Haida nation who have retained fluency in the Haida language. Fewer than 40 speakers remain. A sound component of interviews with the elders portrayed brings further immediacy to the viewing experience.

Like many indigenous languages, the number of native speakers of minority languages is diminishing, but a program is underway in the Haida Gwaii to teach the younger generation their heritage culture and language. A Haida Immersion program will be held in Skidegate on April 27 and 28 2012, with an emphasis on teaching materials.

Haida language classes will be held at the Bill Reid Gallery on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 pm. For further programming announcements, see the website at

Apr 012012
Mayor Lew Williams and Cara Wallace, KIC Tribal Education Director. Photo courtesy KIC

Mayor Lew Williams and Cara Wallace, KIC Tribal Education Director. Photo courtesy KIC

The city of Ketchikan Alaska has designated April 1 to 7 2012 as Honoring Our Speakers Week, and are holding events to give special tribute to the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian fluent speakers in the tribal community there. A film The Linguists will be screened on April 3, about linguists David Harrison and Gregory Anderson who are “scientists racing to document languages on the verge of distinction”.

Mar 042012
Gwaii Edenshaw, One Monster for Another  Photo: Rod Serrat-Cave, Petley Jones Gallery

Gwaii Edenshaw, One Monster for Another. Photo: Rod Serrat-Cave, Petley Jones Gallery

The Petley Jones Gallery in Vancouver will open Sounds Good on Paper, an exhibition of work by Haida artist Gwaii Edenshaw, on March 29 at 6:30 pm. The Gallery is at 1554 West 6th Avenue; the show runs until April 21 2012.

At the age of nineteen, Gwaai produced his first totem under the direction of his father, Guujaaw, a noted carver and leader of the Haida Nation. Since then he has created several others, both with his father and with his artist brother, Jaalen. Preliminary drawings for the Two Brothers pole in Jasper Alberta, carved by Gwaai and Jaalen, are included in Sounds Good on Paper. For an image of the pole, see The Beat August 2011. Gwaii is a founding member of the Q’altsi’da Kaa performers. Their inaugural project, Sounding Gambling Sticks, is a play performed entirely in the Haida language.

The exhibition at Petley Jones Gallery features over a dozen paper works and related jewellery pieces. There will be an exhibition catalogue. See

An update: the old Jasper pole, in perilous condition now after 130 year of exposure, and returned to Haida Gwaii in July 2010, was moved into the Youth Centre Longhouse in February 2012. Haida young people will be giving tours of totem poles in Old Massett.

For more on the pole’s story, see

Mar 042012
Diane Willard, Berry Picking Basket with Lightning Design

Diane Willard, Berry Picking Basket with Lightning Design

In Seattle, the Stonington Gallery is exhibiting Weave: Contemporary Northwest Coast Weavers. Among the artists are Chief Janice George, Isabel Rorick, Debra Sparrow and Haida artist Diane Willard.

A weaving demonstration will take place on Sunday, March 11 at 2 pm.

The show continues until March 30 2011.

Mar 042012
Haida Raven Rattle, 1800-1850  Photo: McCord Museum

Haida Raven Rattle, 1800-1850 Photo: McCord Museum


Several versions of a much-appreciated exhibition of Haida art based on the Haida holdings at the McCord Museum in Montreal have appeared in Canada over the last few years: Montreal in 2006, Ottawa’s Museum of Civilization in 2010-11 and the Art Gallery of Alberta in 2011.

With artist Robert Davidson in a consulting role, three Canadian museums will partner to send a travelling exhibition to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Britain and Spain in 2014 to 2016. The Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the McCord Museum join in sending the Haida: Life, Spirit, Art, with new additional artifacts and content, including text, images and audio-visual material. This exhibition has not been seen in Vancouver.

Images from the McCord collection of Haida works can be seen in the Museum’s database at

Reacting to this project, an Ottawa magazine wonders: “The announcement of this deal raises important questions: Why do foreign museums only seem interested in Canadian aboriginal art? Or is that all we offer them?”

Jan 092012
Bill Reid Raven Bracelet 1955  Friedman Collection, Museum of Anthropology, UBC  Photo: Bill McLennan

Bill Reid Raven Bracelet 1955 Friedman Collection, Museum of Anthropology, UBC Photo: Bill McLennan

The Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver has received a gift from Dr. Sydney Friedman and his late wife Constance, of their collection of twelve artworks by Haida artist Bill Reid. The work illustrated above, an complex hinged gold bracelet in the form of a raven, with curving outlines of feathered wings, dates from 1955.

The newly acquired works will be displayed in MOA’s Bill Reid Rotunda in early spring.

Events in the new year at MOA include a retrospective exhibition of the work of Kwakwaka’wakw artist Doug Cranmer in March, with an accompanying book by Jennifer Kramer. A lecture series by artists influenced by Cranmer will be held in April and May.

The wonderful 2012 Coastal First Nations Dance Festival is March 8 to 11. See

Jan 092012
Haida weaver Lisa Hageman Yahgulanaas describes Raven's Tail Weaving

Haida weaver Lisa Hageman Yahgulanaas describes Raven's Tail Weaving

The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded Haida weaver Lisa Hageman Yahgulanaas an artist residency at the International Residencies Program in the Visual Arts. The residency, located at La Cite Internationale des Arts in the heart of Paris France, began this January and runs until April 2012. Ms Hageman Yahgulanaas was awarded the residency to begin weaving a Raven’s Tail Chief’s Robe. The robe will be influenced by the patterns of Paris and interwoven with ancestral patterns, she said.

For a quick explanation of her weaving filmed in August in Santa Fe, see

For more about Canada Council grants for aboriginal artists, see

Dec 072011
Artist Jim Hart with his sculpture The Three Watchmen. Photo from The Ottawa Citizen

Artist Jim Hart with his sculpture The Three Watchmen. Photo from The Ottawa Citizen


In 2003 Haida artist Jim Hart created a 16’ high bronze sculpture The Three Watchmen, which was placed by developer Michael Audain within a landscaped entrance area in a residential complex near Quilchena Park in Vancouver. The work has become a graceful and much-admired landmark in the neighbourhood.

This year a new bronze casting, second in a possible edition of three, has been made, and donated by Mr. Audain and his wife Yoshika Karasawa to the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. It was installed on November 10 2011 outside the entrance of the National Gallery.To view a National Gallery of Canada video of the difficult installation of the sculpture on a traffic island on Sussex Drive outside the National gallery see

Dec 072011
Photo: Philip Hersee Photography

Photo: Philip Hersee Photography


A launch of a new book Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe will be held at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art at 639 Hornby in Vancouver on Thursday December 8 2011 at 5 pm. Admission is free.

Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe tells the story of the pivotal role of the
canoe in Northwest Coast art, cultures and communities from pre-contact to present day Tribal Journeys.

Principal author and editor Dr. Martine Reid is Director of Content and Research at the Bill Reid Gallery.

The related exhibition of photography continues at the Bill Reid Gallery until January 8, 2012, and will then tour to the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.

For more information see

Nov 012011
Portrait Mask, ca 1800, unknown Gitk’san artist  Collection of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa  Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery

Portrait Mask, ca 1800, unknown Gitk’san artist Collection of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery

 The Vancouver Art Gallery has opened a strong exhibition of exceptional British Columbian and Mexican artwork from the impressive art collection of developer and philanthropist Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa. Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection has a richly illustrated 160 page catalogue.

The exhibition closes on January 29 2012.

There are a large number of exceptionally fine works by historical, many anonymous, First Nations artists, beautifully displayed, such as the Gitk’san Portrait Mask above.

A recent Model Pole in yellow cedar by Haida artist Jim Hart shows how creative and powerful art created within traditional boundaries can be. Audain also collects contemporary First Nations work in less traditional modes, such as works by Brian Jungen’s Variant 1 2002, an assemblage of Jordan running shoes. Seldom does one see such a discriminating selection.

The CBC’s website has a Photo Gallery of some of the pieces on view at the VAG exhibition at

Nov 012011
Stan Bevan

Stan Bevan

 The BC Achievement Foundation has announced five artists as recipients of the 2011 BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations Art, the fifth year of the awards. They are:

Sonny Assu, Kwakwaka’wakw, lives in Vancouver BC; his exhibition at the West Vancouver Museum runs until November 5 2011. See his website at

Stan Bevan, Tsimshian/Tahltan/Tlingit, is from Terrace BC, and is an instructor at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. As a teacher and as an artist, his influence on his peers and the next generation is great. Bevan has worked on the Kitselas Canyon site near Terrace extensively, leading teams of young carvers and designing poles there. His own portfolio is at

Vera Edmonds, Lil’wat, from Mount Currie BC, is a master cedar root weaver. The Lil’wat Cultural Centres in Whistler houses her original works as well as older and valuable pieces she has carefully restored. She is on Facebook.

Shawn Hunt, Heiltsuk, is from Sechelt BC, whose current work was exhibited in October at the Blanket Gallery in Vancouver (see The Beat October 2011). Hunt works in both traditional and more “Pop” modes. See

Jay Simeon, is a Haida artist who lives in Vancouver BC. From jewellery to masks to wood carvings and ceremonial regalia, he interprets traditional art form in a contemporary setting. Simeon was one of the artists featured in the recent exhibition at the Lattimer Gallery, Silver: Celebrating Twenty-five Years. His online portfolio is at

Nov 012011
Artist Primrose Adams

Artist Primrose Adams

Primrose Adams, a Haida weaver from Massett BC, was named the recipient of the 2011 Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nations Art, a prestigious award given to an artist who has had a profound impact on the community and First Nations culture. Adams has been recognized both locally and internationally for practicing the art of spruce root basket weaving.

Nov 012011
Everything was Carved

Everything was Carved

The latest issue of Haida Laas, the journal of the Haida Nation, is available at

Haida Laas describes a short web-video film Everything was Carved, made by staff at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. The film examines the implications of a recent visit by a Haida delegation to the ethnological museum to see the many Haida works in the Pitt Rivers’ collection. (See The Beat September 2011)

The film is available at

Oct 092011
Bill Reid, Lootas (Wave Eater), 1993  Ink Drawing by Bill Reid  Collection of the Bill Reid Foundation

Bill Reid, Lootas (Wave Eater), 1993 Ink Drawing by Bill Reid Collection of the Bill Reid Foundation

Haida artist Bill Reid had a deep admiration of the traditional Haida canoe: The Haida canoe is as beautifully designed and decorated an open boat as the world has ever seen” he said in 1987, in an article in National Geographic. His grandfather Charles Gladstone was an expert boat builder. For Expo 86 in Vancouver Bill Reid was commissioned to build a 15-metre war canoe, and this began the creation of a number of Haida canoes in cedar and fiberglass. Tribes along the Pacific coast have developed great skill in carving and journeying in their traditional vessels.

A new book, Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe, will be launched in October 2011. Harbour Publishing. The anthology on the theme of the Haida canoe includes artworks by Bill Reid, vivid photographs by Phillip Hersee, Ulli Steltzer, Robert Semeniuk and others, texts by James Raffan, Martine J. Reid, and Mike Robinson and first-hand accounts by First Nations paddlers.

Elizabeth Bulbrook, former Heritage Coordinator for the Council of Haida Nation’s Forest Guardians will present a program on Red Cedar Archaeology at the Bill Reid gallery on October 26 2011, at 2:30 to 3:30 pm. This talk will describe the study of culturally modified red cedar trees, and its benefits to the artistic traditions among the First Nations peoples of the Northwest Coast. For more information about the Gallery, see

Oct 092011

The Sealaska Institute regularly presents lectures about First Nations issues, history and art from an Alaskan perspective, which are then made available to the public on the web as videos.

In a recent talk, Emily Moore, a visiting scholar at the Sealaska Institute, spoke about her research on the Totem Parks of Southeast Alaska. She discussed Southeast Alaska totem poles that were made or restored during the Great Depression and shows a 1949 newsreel about the project that was recently rediscovered. The 11-minute film is titled Timber and Totem Poles and was produced by the U.S. Forest Service. Moore is interested in contacting carvers or their relatives in Tlingit and Haida communities who remember someone who worked on the New Deal totem parks, or who has further information on the carving project.

Aug 052011
Many members of the Haida Nation travelled to Jasper  to celebrate the raising of the new pole.

Many members of the Haida Nation travelled to Jasper to celebrate the raising of the new pole.

A Haida pole was raised on July 16 at Jasper Park in Alberta.

Artists Jaalen and Gwaai Edenshaw, based the pole on the traditional Two Brothers story. The tale is that two Haida brothers travelled from Haida Gwaii to the Rocky Mountains, and one decided to settle in the mountains. When the other, who returned to the Haida Gwaii went back to visit his sibling, it was his brother’s daughter, speaking in Haida, who greeted him with the news that her father was dead.

Parks Canada commissioned the new pole to replace an 1870’s Haida Raven pole taken in 1915 from Old Massett, which was repatriated to Old Massett in 2010. (See The Beat June 2009.)

See the July edition of Haida Laas at

Jul 092011
Shawn Edenshaw in  Mamook Chantie – Traditional Singing.  Photo: R. Badger

Shawn Edenshaw in Mamook Chantie – Traditional Singing. Photo: R. Badger

In connection with the exhibition Bill Reid and the Traditional Canoe, at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, until January 8 2012, a program of Salish, Kwakwaw’akw, Tsimshian and Haida performers will present Mamook Chantie, canoe travel songs, welcome songs and more, and explain their meanings, on Wednesday July 20 at 7 pm.

May 062011
Old Growth exhibition, Grunt Gallery. Photo: Ann Cameron

Old Growth exhibition, Grunt Gallery. Photo: Ann Cameron

At Vancouver’s Grunt Gallery, Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas presents Old Growth, a selection of his published works alongside previously unseen drawings and sketches from his thirty plus years of graphic art production.

Yahgulanaas’ work combines traditional Haida form-line with the conventions of Asian graphic novels known as “manga” in a distinct style he calls “Haida Manga”. This exhibition is coordinated with the release of Yahgulanaas’ latest publication, a retrospective collection of his graphic work, produced in conjunction with Grunt Gallery. Old Growth continues until Saturday May 21 2011.


The British Museum has recently acquired a sculpture by Yahgulanaas,

Copper from the Hood. For more information, see:


Apr 062011

In Los Angeles, the Autry National Center has a new installation in its lobby of First Nations objects from the Southwest Museum of the American Indian collection, which it has amalgamted. A Haida hat with ten rings, created about 1907, was chosen for the exhibit. To view Northwest coast objects in the Autry collection, look in their database:

Or try our ready-made search by clicking here.

Apr 062011
Photo: Rick McCharles

Photo: Rick McCharles

Christian White

Christian White


In March, Haida Artist Christian White held an End of Winter Feast at his longhouse in Old Massett,
with new masks and dances. White revived the idea of holding a feast in winter, as was the Haida tradition.

Apr 062011



Dorothy Grant, Haida fashion designer, has somewhat changed the focus of her business.

She will be at the major native art markets throughout the United States and Canada, with new accessories, and commissioned work for clients. Some of her Red Raven items and accessories are available throughout April at her studio at 138 West 6th Avenue in Vancouver, or call 604 681 0201.See her website

Mar 162011

Haida Mask, 1800-1850  Photo: McCord Museum

Haida Mask, 1800-1850 Photo: McCord Museum

The Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton is exhibiting Haida Art: Mapping an Ancient Language, 80 historic objects from the collection of the McCord Museum in Montreal, and more recent work by Robert Davidson, who curated the show. It continues until June 5 2011. Davidson will give a talk on Wednesday March 16 at 6 pm.

Brian Jungen’s exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta continues until May 8 2011. See

Jan 072011

Mask, attrib. to Simeon Stilthda (c. 1799-1889), Haida  Photo: Denis Finnin, courtesy of American Museum of Natural History

Mask, attrib. to Simeon Stilthda (c. 1799-1889), Haida Photo: Denis Finnin, courtesy of American Museum of Natural History

Also in New York City at the Focus Gallery at the Bard Graduate Center, 18 West 86th Street, an exhibition curated by Aaron Glass and his students at the Bard Center will be held from January 26 to April 17 2011 (see object above). Objects of Exchange” uses the material culture of the period as visual evidence of historical change and shifting intercultural relations. Drawing on a wide variety of objects from the remarkable collection of the American Museum of Natural History-ranging from decorated clothing and containers, to ceremonial masks and trade goods-this exhibit reveals the artistic traces of dynamic Indigenous activity whereby objects were altered, repurposed, and adapted to meet the challenges of the time.” For more information, see

Jan 072011

Aaron Glass will present his film In Search of the Hamat’sa at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York on Wednesday February 2 2011. On March 20 and 21 2011, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester New York, Glass will give a lecture to accompany a public presentation of Edward Curtis’s 1914 silent film shot on the BC coast, In the Land of the Head Hunters. (See The Beat, March 2008.)