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Indian art/Aboriginal title Crosby, Marcia Violet 1994

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Indian Art/Aboriginal TitlebyMarcia Violet CrosbyB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1994A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Fine Arts)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1994© Copyright Marcia Violet Crosby, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of therequirements for an advanced degree at the University of BritishColumbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely availablefor reference and study. I further agree that permission forextensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may begranted by the head of my department or by his or herrepresentatives. It is understood that copying or publication ofthis thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without mywritten permission.(Signature)Department ofØ/9The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate /27. //11ABSTRACTIn 1967, the Vancouver Art Gallery held an exhibition entitled Arts of the Raven:Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian in celebration of Canada’s centennial. Thefollowing thesis discusses the way in which the curators of the Arts of the Ravenexhibit constructed the Northwest Coast “Indian-Master” artist as a strategy thatfigured into a larger, shifting cultural field. The intention of the exhibit organizerswas to contribute to the shift from ethnology to art. While this shift can be dated tothe turn of the century, this thesis deals primarily with the period from 1958-1967, adecade described by the preeminent First Nations’ political leader, George Manuel,as the time of “the rediscovery of the Indian”.How the formation of an Indian-master artist (and his masterworks) intervenedin art historical practice, and dovetailed with the meaning that the affix “Indian”carried in the public sphere, is considered. In the 1960s, this meaning was fostered,in part, through a reassessment of Canada’s history in preparation for the centennial.This event drew attention to the historical relationship between Canada andaboriginal peoples through public criticism of the government by public interestgroups, Indian organizations, and civil rights and anti-poverty movements.The category of mastery, which functions as a sign of class, taste and prestige inEuropean art canons, “included” the Indian under the rubric of white male genius.Yet the Indian as a sign of upward mobility was incommensurable with the Nativereality in Canada at the time. In other words, the exhibit produced an abstractequality that eclipsed the concrete inequality most First Nations peoples wereactually experiencing. This thesis concludes by arguing that the Arts of the Ravenexhibit came to serve the important purpose of creating a space for the “uniqueindividual-Indian” from which collective political First Nations voices would speak.111TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACTTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ivINTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER ONE: THE EXHIBIT CONCEPTUALIZED 7The Exhibit Design 17Setting New Standards 26Modernism and Quality 31VAG and International Success 33Internationalism 36Exhibit Programming 43Summary 44CHAPTER TWO: THE NATIONALISED INDIAN 46The Indian Act, its Indians and Aboriginal Title 52Equality or Assimilation 68CHAPTER THREE: INDIAN INSTITUTIONS AND REPRESENTATION 76CHAPTER FOUR: “PROGRESS” AND “MASTER ARTISTS” 89Anthropology and the Modern Indian 91Indian Arts and Social Welfare 99CHAPTER FIVE: AUTHORITIES OF NORTHWEST COAST FIRST NATIONSCULTURES. WHO ARE THEY? 106Origins and Contamination by Modernity 106Hoim 107Reid 109Duff 115Postscript 116ILLUSTRATIONS 118BIBLIOGRAPHY 147ivLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSFigure 1: Advertisement for William Hoim’s Indian Dance Group, Museum ofAnthropology (MOA), University of British Columbia (LJBC) Archives, Box 2-417.Figure 2: Letter regarding Holm’s Potlatch Camp, MOA, UBC Archives, Box 2--117.Figure 3: Lay out of galleries for Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest CoastIndian, exhibit,Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) Archives, Box 1470.Figure 4: “Entrance” of exhibit with Edward Curtis photo-murals, Vancouver ArtGallery Archives, Box 1470.Figure 5: “Faces: Gallery 1” of exhibit, Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, Box A-102.Figure 6: “Orientation: Gallery 3” of exhibit. Map of Northwest Coast (NWC)“tribal” styles. Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, Box A-102.Figure 7: Close up of NWC map.Figure 8: “Small sculptures in Wood: Gallery 2” of exhibit. Vancouver Art GalleryArchives, Box A-102.Figure 9: “Slate, Ivory, Bone, Silver: Gallery 4” of exhibit. Vancouver Art GalleryArchives, Box A-102.Figure 10: “Flat Design: Gallery 5” of exhibit. Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, BoxA-102.Figure 11: “Masterworks: Gallery 6” of exhibit, including photograph of CharlesEdenshaw as Master artist. Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, Box A-102.Figure 12: Close-up photo of Charles Edenshaw in Masterworks gallery. Originalphoto, Museum of Anthropology, UBC Archives, Wilson Duff Files.Figure 13: Close-up of Charles Edenshaw, UBC Archives, Wilson Duff Files used infig. 11.Figure 14: Gallery 6 emphasis on Haida flat design. Vancouver Art Gallery Archives,Box A-102.Figure 15: “Gallery 7: “Kwagiutl” exhibit. Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, Box A102.Figure 16: “Gallery 8: Contemporary Art” of exhibit. Vancouver Art GalleryArchives, Box A-102.Figure 17: Lineage chart of Charles Edenshaw, leading to Bill Reid (Harris 1966,n.p.).VFigure 18: Newspaper photographs of Exhibit opening (no citation available).Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, Box A-102.Figure 19: Newspaper photograph of Bill Reid, James Siwiid and Bill Holm atExhibit opening. Vancouver Art Gallery Archives, Box A-102.Figure 20: Advertisement for the Arts of the Raven exhibit in The Buzzer.Figure 21: “Forgotten Man,” cartoon. Native Voice. February 1947, p. 5.Figure 22: “The Provincial Vote,” Native Voice. March 1949, p.1.Figure 23: “Native Indians Granted Full Citizenship Rights,” Native Voice. SpecialEdition February 1960, p.1. Plate VI.Figure 24: Canada’s Indians and the Centenniel.A Guide to Indian Events in 1967.(booklet cover). Department of Indian Affairs (DJA), Indian Art Centre Archives,Expo ‘67 Folder.Figure 25: “Schedule of Events,”Canada’s Indians and the Centenniel. A Guide to IndianEvents in 1967. DIA, Indian Art Centre Archives, Expo ‘67 Folder.Figure 26: Photograph of George Manuel, First Nations political leader. Native Voice.March 1962, p.1.Figure 27: “Totems Take a Trip to Storage,” and “Special Report on Indian Lands,”Native Voice. February 1959, p.1.Figure 28: “A Totem Pole Works Hard to Sell British Columbia”, from Land ofDestiny: The Golden Age of British Columbia by Charlie Lillard & Michael Gregson.Vancouver, Pulp Press 1990. p.551IntroductionThe following thesis contributes to the study of “curatorial politics”, or howpower relations are constructed, both intentionally and unintentionally, throughthe selection of works of art, their context, placement and juxtaposition withother works. The 1967 exhibition of Northwest Coast Indian art entitled Arts ofthe Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian, mounted at theVancouver Art Gallery in celebration of Canada’s centennial, stands as a focus ofthis thesis, and will be used as a vehicle to examine how these factors constructedparticular meanings for varied publics at the time. The ways in which thecurators of the Arts of the Raven exhibit constructed the Northwest Coast“Indian-Master” artist and masterworks in a bid to contribute to the shiftingdefinition of Native art from ethnology to fine art will be discussed. Theseprocesses of cultural transformation, however, are more complex than a simpleinterdisciplinary shift, and will be discussed as part of a larger, shifting social andpolitical field.As the concept of Indian “masterworks” or creating an Indian “Art” exhibitwas not new at the time of the Arts of the Raven show, this thesis will surveythe historical precedent or the earliest constructions of the concept of an Indian-master artist that led to the 1967 Vancouver Art Gallery exhibit, with a limiteddiscussion of the way in which the master-artist construction developed inBritish Columbia. As the study will indicate, exhibitions of Indian art had alreadybeen produced much earlier in the United States and Canada. To name just a fewexhibits, the earliest were the “Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts” (sponsored bythe privately funded College Art Association), which opened at Central ArtGalleries in New York in 1931, Indian Art of the United States, at the Museum ofModern Art in 1941, and the 1946 exhibit of Northwest Coast Indian Paintings at2the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. Aboriginal material culture from theNorthwest Coast was displayed as “Masterworks” in the 1962 Seattle World’sFair. In Canada, qibway artist Norval Morrisseau was identified as a “masterartist” in his first commercial art exhibit in Toronto in 1962.In contrast to these earlier instances, the distinctiveness of Arts of theRaven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian lies in its exhibit of forms,materials and practices distinctive to some Northwest Coast aboriginal peoples,delimited by western terms and explanations for the “artistic practice” ofNorthwest Coast “Indian” culture. Furthermore, it was the first exhibit ofNorthwest Coast material culture that constructed a curatorial history for anindividual artist within those terms and explanations.Central to this thesis is the issue of how the concept of “mastery” was usedby the Raven exhibit curators to contribute to the shift of anthropology to art.Recognizing that “mastery” is a complex term, the three components of masterythat I will limit my discussion to consider how it was used: First to construct notonly a Northwest Coast masterworks and an Indian master, but also a patriarchalform of lineage and a curatorial history, which together served to provide apedigree for the category of Northwest Coast Indian art, and which made sensewithin western art historical discourse and canons. Second, in an exhibit thatincluded the material culture of the Tlingit, Tsimshian Haida and NorthernKwakwaka’wakw (Kwagiutl)’), mastery served to further establishedNorthwestcoast Indian artists as “individuals”. For example, Haida artist CharlesEdenshaw (1835-1920) was used as a model for Northwest Coast artistic practice.Significantly, his lineage served to validate his heirs, Bill Reid and RobertDavidson, whose individual works of “genius” were shown in the‘The term used in the exhibit was “Kwakiutl” which continues to be the morecommonly used and recognized nomenclature used in public institutions.However, for the purpose of this thesis, I will use the term most often used byrespected Kwakwaka’wakw leaders to identify themselves.3Contemporary Art section of the Arts of the Raven exhibit’s eight galleries.Third, in considering such aspects of the exhibit’s production, I discuss the wayin which the application of mastery and the formal language that art historianBill Holm coined to describe Northwest Coast material culture to an art galleryexhibition audience, established a particular standard with which to identify“quality” in Northwest Coast Indian art. This in turn was used to increase thesocial and monetary value of existing collections of Northwest Coast materialculture on a national and international scale. Further, as an exhibit in a westerninstitution, the ‘explication and establishment of its claims to greatness’ woulddepend on, and further establish, the expertise and authority of non-Native “art”professionals.Chapter One introduces the argument of the thesis and considers in somedetail how the construction of mastery was circumscribed in the Arts of theRaven exhibition to reproduce the existing categories of Northwest Coast Indianart and artisan. I discuss the exhibit organizers’ focus on “the wide range andaesthetic excellence of [Northwest Coast art] forms which, “explicate and establishits claim to greatness”.2 This construction, as I will argue, ironically andinevitably led to the deletion of the Northwest Coast Indian component. As theRaven catalogue declared in its introduction to the final chapter entitled, “TheArt Today”: “But now these [Native artifacts] are arts in a different sense. Thoughtruly enough of Indian descent, they are now Canadian Art, Modern Art, FineArt” (Duff 1967, N. pag.). It is this merging of “Indian” art with “Canadian art”and a form of Modernism that has important implications in respect to theexhibit as a whole.This chapter also investigates the significance of a formal analysis, one basedon exhibit curator Bill Holm’s text, Northwest Coast Indian Art: an Analysis ofForm (1965), and the way in which it informed the organisation of the exhibit2Doris Shadbolt qtd. in The Telegram, (Sept. 9, 1967), 18.4and the installations. The relationship of such formal analysis to the exhibitdesign, to notions of status, to Greenbergian ‘modernism’ and to “quality” playan important role in how Indian-mastery figured into the larger shifting culturalfield of art/gallery practice. This investigation will show some of the ways thatthe material culture of some Northwest Coast aboriginal peoples wastransformed, produced and legitimised under the national and internationalcategories of ‘Canadian Art, Modern Art, Fine Art’. It will also examine what wasat stake for the Vancouver Art Gallery, its Director, the exhibit collectionorganisers and consultants, and for those who endorsed Arts of the Raven as alegitimate project.To provide a context for the exhibit, Chapter Two considers some of thehistoric, social and political forces that may have molded the consciousness ofthose who produced the Arts of the Raven as curators, designers, contributingartists, those who were the exhibition audience, and those who ratified it as alegitimate project--or not. I discuss some of the possible meanings that beingidentified as “Indian”, or identifying things as “Indian” would have had in the1960s. It is necessary to consider how those meanings informed those whoparticipated in producing the exhibit, and how an audience might have viewedthe exhibit in relation to their understanding of the term “Indian” at thathistorical moment. The introduction to Chapter Two considers national debatesabout ethnic diversity, equality, racism and poverty as they related to the socialconditions of “the Indian”, and First Nations’ right to self-determination,aboriginal title and the existing treaties made between the Crown and aboriginalpeoples. I also consider contrasting media images of “the Indian” asimpoverished or as culturally rich within the context of a Canadian heritage, thelegal definitions of “Indian” and their social corollaries, and the way in whichsome First Peoples defined themselves.5I demonstrates that while the Art of the Raven exhibit organizers werecommitted to elevating the status of ‘indian art”, First Nations’ leaders werecommitted to changing the socio-political conditions for their peoples as “themost socially, politically and economically disadvantaged minority in Canada”(Hawthorn et al. 1966-67). This chapter serves to underline that the empiricalreality for most First Nations peoples in Canada in 1967 was incommensurablewith the Vancouver Art Gallery’s representation of the Northwest Coast Indianculture. At the same time it is significant that in relation to the limiteddiscussion in Chapter One of mastery and patriarchal lineage, patriarchy alsomade sense in terms of western political systems imposed on First Nations’cultures.In Chapter Three I discuss the political concerns addressed by the leaders ofthe Northwest Coast peoples whose cultures were ostensibly represented in theArts of the Raven exhibit. Beginning with the Raven exhibit organisers’assertion that “the old Indian cultures [were] dead,” I establish that the authorityover the meanings that Northwest Coast First Nations invested in their poles,masks, crest and rituals, in terms of aboriginal title, property rights, land use andother privileges, were not alienated, bought, sold, stolen or appropriated. Rather,they were reasserted in the public sphere through contemporary politicalintertribal organisations, which represented, as they do today, an integral aspectof living and changing Northwest Coast cultures.The first section of Chapter Four provides a limited survey of how theconcept of an Indian-master artist developed in British Columbia (B.C.) in the1940s and 1950s through government and institutional interest in the “progressof the Indian” in relation to a wage economy. Much of the development of“Indian art” in the early years can be viewed within the context of non-Nativeinterest in preserving what was perceived to be “Canada’s heritage”, and inpromoting commerical tourism in the province. While some First Nations6people were committed to establishing and legitimating “Indian art and artists”in the public sphere, as in the 1960s, creating interest in Northwest Coastmaterial culture was ultimately dependent on the expertise of the “official”holders and disseminators of Indian culture--western institutions, academics andDepartment of Indian Affairs officials.Chapter Five will conclude with a discussion of the curators for the Arts ofthe Raven exhibit, who were established as the as the experts of Northwest Coastculture. These were: Bill Holm, art historian; Bill Reid, Haida artisan; andWilson Duff, archaeologist and Professor of Anthropology, at the University ofBritish Columbia. Specifically I will examine their roles both as curators for anart exhibit and as the “experts” of First Nations Northwest Coast cultural history,in relation to Northwest Coast aboriginal leaders’ position on the right of FirstNations peoples to self-determination, self-government and self-definition.7CHAPTER ONEThe Exhibit ConceptualisedThese vanished men and women have emerged through their art out of aformless mass of ancestral and historical stereotypes--warriors, hunters,fishermen, every man his own Leonardo--to become individuals in ahighly individual society. . . (Bill Reid 1967)The 1967 exhibition, Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest CoastIndian, at the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) was held “in honour of the onehundredth anniversary of Canadian confederation”. The opening of the exhibit,held June 15, 1967 was one of many nation-wide cultural events supported by thefederal government to promote the spirit of confederation. These events were toassert and confirm unity and equality for all of multicultural Canada, includingFrench Canada (Quebec) and “Canada’s Indians”. In an era of economicaffluence, and in an environment of radical change in artistic and curatorialpractice, works by artists once considered marginal to “high art” were beingshown in major institutions. That year the Vancouver Art Gallery held a seriesof craft demonstrations entitled “Art in Action”, produced mixed mediaexhibitions such as “Op Art Play Walls and Musical Play Screen”, and heldexhibitions of difference such as “Masterworks in Miniature: Japanese netsuke”and “African Sculpture”.3Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian was initiallyconceived by VAG Director, Richard Simmins, as one of four Centennialexhibitions, including also: Painting ‘66, Vancouver Between the Eyes andImages for a Canadian Heritage. According to exhibit organisers the intent of theArts of the Raven exhibit was to3me Vancouver Art Gallery Association Annual Report 1968 (Vancouver:Vancouver Art Gallery, 1968).4Arnold Rockmand, acting as a juror for Painting ‘66 (Nov. 30,1966-Jan. 8, 1967)declared B.C. painters ‘in the vanguard of the country’ (Lowndes 1983, 142, 43).8make an explicit and emphatic statement contributing to the shift fromethnology to art. . .. It propose[d] to bring together many of themasterworks of Northwest Coast Native art, to show the wide range andaesthetic excellence of its forms and to explicate and establish its claim togreatness.5The “masterworks” were represented by 516 objects, collected from museumsand private collectors around the world (Holm 196Th, 4). Of the thirty-twomuseums represented, only six were art museums, which underlines what anambitious project the Raven exhibit was in terms of its goal to contribute to theshift from ethnology to art, by shifting the focus of Northwest Coast materialculture from an anthropological focal point to that of art--from the museum tothe gallery.The development of the Arts of the Raven exhibit took place over a twoyear period. When Simmins resigned from the Gallery in December 1966, duringthe development of the exhibit, senior curator Doris Shadbolt took over as actingDirector, and brought the show to its realisation.6 Both Simmins and Shadboltworked with the project’s consultants, described in the catalogue and theexhibition programming as the experts of Northwest Coast art and culture and asprofessional advisors. These were: Wilson Duff, writer of the catalogue andcurator of anthropology at the British Columbia Provincial Museum (BCPMbecame the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) in 1986); Bill Reid,described as Haida craftsman and master artist and “the foremost authority ofHaida culture” (Shadbolt 1967); and Bill Hoim, art historian, long-time [non-Native] student and practitioner of Northwest Coast art and dance (Fig. 1 & 2)and curator of Northwest Coast Indian Art at the Thomas Burke Washington5Doris Shadbolt qtd. in The Telegram, (Sept. 9, 1967), 18.6The exhibit opened June 15, 1967; Tony Emery began his appointment as Director,July 1, 1967.9State Museum. Robert Boal, a recent graduate of the Vancouver School of Art,was the exhibition designer. Duff, Holm and Reid were responsible for[the exhibit’s] conception, the search for and selection of the workscomprising the show, their thematic organization within the exhibit andthe catalogue... [which represents] their criteria of excellence (Ibid.).Although they are not explicitly identified as “curators” of the exhibit, the abovedescription of these individuals’ responsibilities certainly are curatorial.Therefore, for the purposes of this paper I will refer to them as such. In additionto these responsibilities, both Holm and Reid were contributing artists to thecontemporary exhibit, Gallery 8, “The Art Today”.Northwest Coast cultural objects had been exhibited as “Indian art” or“masterworks” previous to the Raven exhibit, but this was the first time thatthey had been exhibited in the context of an individual Indian-master artist. Thisexhibit, then, was distinct from the modernist practice of using Northwest Coastartifacts as a referent for Primitive and Surrealist art works as in the 1946 exhibit,“Northwest Coast Indian Painting” at the Betty Parson gallery in New York(Carpenter 1975, N. pag.). It was distinct from earlier Northwest Coast IndianArt exhibits, such as the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair fine art exhibition, whichcompared the works of “Old Masters” from El Greco to Klee with the“Masterpieces of Northwest Coast Indian Art”--works whose ‘masters’ in factremained unidentified. The contemporary exhibit of Northwest Coastmasterworks was not aboriginal iconography transposed onto Westernmediums, as were Ojibway artist (also identified as a master artist) NorvalMorrisseau’s mural and canvas paintings first exhibited in Toronto’s Pollockgallery in 1962 (Pollock 1979, 21).7 Nor were the Northwest Coast masters andmasterworks constructed as a cultural practice outside the field and tradition of7For a discussion of Morrisseau’s relevance to the development of “Indian” art inCanada, see also Tom Hill. “Indian Art in Canada: An Historical Perspective,” inNorvel Morrisseau and the emergence of the image makers (Toronto: Art Galleryof Ontario, 1984).10western high art. Rather, First Nations carvers who used traditional NorthwestCoast design and mediums were identified within Western, contemporary artpractice through a paradigm whose field of problems was circumscribed anddelimited by a focus on aesthetics, form, medium and mastery.At the same time, the discursive shift in category from ethnography to art,which was predicated on exclusionary practice, maintained the status quo--thatthe cultures of differing First Nations and Euro-Canadian cultures weremutually translatable. This assumption has informed the inclusion ofNorthwest Coast First Nations’ linguistic and material culture, rituals, andimages in historically changing western categories and explanations foraboriginal peoples and cultures. However, the inclusion of material culture ofFirst Nations peoples must also be viewed as acts predicated on our exclusion, orotherness. Anthropologist Virginia Dominguez argues that when weacknowledge that an idea, object, history or tradition is not ours, and we thenproceed to incorporate or represent it, “we arrogate the right to employ what weacknowledge is not ours... [and] it is something we do because of our perception ofit as other.”(Dominguez 1987, ). And in a broader context, the colonisation ofFirst Nations’ cultural heritage reflects the political attitude of the Canadiangovernment towards First Nations people and our land.Creating categories and standards for Northwest Coast material culturethrough a Western criteria of aesthetic excellence has been part of on-goingprocesses in the taxonomic development of “Northwest Coast Indian Art” inWestern institutions--processes that have eclipsed the complex, socio-politicaland economic significance of contemporary Northwest Coast aboriginal culturalobjects and the territories from which they emerged.Many of the issues arising from the formal approach used by the Arts of theRaven exhibit curators and endorsed by VAG administrators have beendiscussed by art historian, Marnie Flemming and others (Duffek 1983, 106;11Townsend-Gault 1993, 52). In Flemming’s critique of the 1982 exhibit, The Legacy:Continuing Traditions of Canadian Northwest Coast Indian Art , produced byRBCM and reviewed in its mounting at the Museum of Anthropology at theUniversity of British Columbia (MOA), Flemming contends that The Legacyexhibit was problematic on various counts. As an exhibit that was object-oriented, it divested the objects of their religious, political and mythologicalmeanings--that is, it separated the objects from the context of their oral histories,thus placing the importance on objects rather than on people. In doing so,emphasis was effectively placed on the objects and/or their marketable value. (Itis also important to note that commercial “Indian art” has become an integratedand important aspect of First Nations economy in rural and urban communities,a consideration of which lies beyond the limitations of this thesis.) Flemmingalso contends that the ahistorical approach used in such installations created theillusion of a seamless tradition of Indian art. Several aspects contributed to this:the use of term “artifact” served to imply continuity of object, whether it wastwo, or three hundred years old. Also significant is that while the exhibitorganisers made reference to distinctive personal styles, they did not locate thatperson in their own history; all of the objects were treated with the sameanalysis regardless of how they function(ed) in society. Ignored by such analysiswas the history of colonial imperialism, which led to the “dying people” theoryor salvage paradigm,8 out of which the supposed “renaissance”--which thisexhibit signified--was seen to emerge. This paradigm is premised on the powerrelations inherent in a situation in which saviors or experts (the only ones whopurportedly still recognise the cultural value of the “dying” cultures) ‘salvage’8The salvage paradigm is discussed by Virginia Dominguez, Trinh T. Minh-ha andJames Clifford in Discussions in Contemporary Culture, Hal Foster, ed. (Seattle: BayPress, 1987). See also, Marcia Crosby. “Construction of the Imaginary Indian,” fora discussion of how this paradigm has animated Canadian art, and the so-calledrevival of Northwest Coast Indian art in Vancouver Anthology: the institutionalpolitics of art, Stan Douglas, ed. (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1991).12what is left of the--in this case--dead” culture. Through this ahistoricalapproach, objects in the exhibit were divested of history, and were free to beinvested with new meaning and the more familiar exotic and romanticmeanings. Flemming concluded that this approach created value and imposedworth, which implied a certain status, thereby creating a polarity between thedidactic information and art (1982, 18-21).While Flernming’s arguments cogently raise many critical issues in regardto what is at stake when one culture “arrogates the right” to represent another(many of which will be considered throughout the thesis), the purpose of thischapter is to look at curatorial politics: the selection and arrangement of worksand how meaning was constructed through these choices, and to explore howand why Northwest Coast material culture was reproduced as “Canadian art,modern art, fine art” (Duff 1967, N. pag.) at a particular historical moment.To paraphrase the original “Rationale” for the exhibit, its primary goalswere: to assemble the finest artistic products of the Northwest Coast, and showwhy they were the finest; to produce a higher aesthetic standard than anyprevious show; to go farther in the interpretation of the art style; to make thefirst attempt to bring together the masterpieces of coast Indian art; to provide thefirst explicit recognition of the greatest master of the style, Charles Edenshaw(1839-1924); to demonstrate the full theatrical impact of the arts of theKwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl); to provide perspectives on the directions andquality of present-day Indian arts--all of which would result in establishing thisas a ‘high’ art of fine quality and wide range; to maintain this criteria, objectshaving only ethnological or historical significance were to be excluded (emphasismine).99Paraphrased “Rationale” for “People of the Salmon and the Cedar,” one of theearlier, possible titles for the exhibit. VAG Archives, Box A-10213In the struggle to produce new meanings for Northwest Coast materialculture so as to increase the existing standards, prestige and value for thesealready historically, meaning-laden objects, the exhibit curators clearly had totake Northwest Coast Indian art into a new arena. Curator Bill Holm’s text,Northwest Coast Indian Art: an analysis of form (1965) was to provide theconceptual framework for producing the exhibition. As the “Rationale” for theshow stated, “Since this [was] the first show since the publication of Bill Holm’sbook,. . . prominence will be given to the northern two-dimensional style whichit analyze[d] so well”.10According to Holm, his analysis was premised on existing texts that hadestablished aspects of Northwest Coast material culture within a “highlydeveloped system of art principles. . . described most notably in the works ofFranz Boas” (Holm 1965, 8). Holm asserted that his paradigm for examiningNorthwest Coast art took anthropologist, Boas’ (and other ‘Western authorities’of Northwest Coast culture) precepts further than their recognition of NorthwestCoast cultural objects as “art”. Critiquing their texts as dealing primarily withelements that were concerned with “representation rather than of composition,design, or form”, Holm’s asserted that in his analysis of form, “[n]one of theprinciples of representation that [were] so well described in the literature wouldbe reviewed, except as they related directly to organization and form” (Ibid., 13).Holm’s description of the stylistic characteristics of Northwest Coast art wasbased on his analysis of it as an essentially two-dimensional art based onpainting, whose rigid rules and principles could be applied to plastic andsculptural arts. In the Arts of the Raven catalogue, “carving” was described as atwo-dimensional concept--a flat design wrapped around a half cylinder (pole)and carved in relief, or applied to a woven chilkat blanket and worn on the body.The primary element of design was identified as a swelling and diminishing‘°Ibid.14“form-line”, which Hoim asserted was more than a line because of its“importance as a formal element.. .more natural to painting than to carving”(Hoim, 1965, 33). In fact Hoim contended that objects which were carved afterpainting proved that “the painted aspect of the design was basic and the carvingwas an elaboration of it (Catalogue, N. pag.). Formlines established the primaryand secondary divisions of a design, which included elements that wereformline structures identified as “ovoids, u-shapes, split-u, solid-u”.The way in which Holm’s paradigm for what constituted Northwest CoastIndian Art informed the organisation of the Raven exhibit included more thanthe formalist language used to describe its characteristic elements. The work ondisplay had to be linked with genius, imagination, virtuosity and the ability toexpress originality within the framework of rigidly observed rules. It was theartists interpretation of those rules, according to Holm, “which elevate(d) themasterworks to their place over the many competent but less inspired examplesof Indian work” (Holm 1967a, N. Pag.)” And finally, the success of the exhibitwould depend on establishing a pedigree for Northwest Coast masterworks byhistorically linking them to a patriarchal lineage of master artists.Charles Edenshaw had already been identified by late 19th century and early20th century anthropologist, Franz Boas in the literature that Holm had1‘Hoim 1967a, N. pag. Bill Reid also stated that “innovation within a tradition” wasthe challenge to the artist... .without such freedom of creation the art would havebeen nothing more than a static system of hieroglyphics”(qtd. in Art in the Lifeof the Northwest Coast Indians by Erna Gunther (Portland: Portland Art Museum1966), 8. See also Alan Hoover. “Bill Reid and Robert Davidson: Innovations inContemporary Haida Art, in American Indian Art, vol. 18, No. 4 (Autumn 1993), 48.Hoover discusses “Innovation” as being “identified as an indicator of aestheticexcellence in northern NWC art” (49), citing various authors, Reid, Holm andDuffek as his sources. Anthropologist, Martine Reid also states that “The real[Northwest coast] artist not only works successfully within the rules, but variesthem to go beyond a static system of icons” (1993, 75; emphasis mine). Within thebroader context of North American “Indian art”, see also Margaret Archuleta,“The 4th Biennial of Native American Fine Arts Invitational at the HeardMuseum,” in American Indian Art, vol. 15, No. 1 (Winter 1991), 54, whichidentifies Marcus Amerman as winning an award for “innovative uses oftraditional techniques” at the 83rd Annual American Indian Market in Sante Fe,New Mexico (58).15researched, “as the best carver and painter among the Haidas” (Boas, 1927, 175).The curatorial decision to establish Edenshaw as ‘the greatest master of style’(original rational above), was also based on Hoim’s position that any “real”understanding of Northwest Coast Indian art required an understanding of thenorthern coastal tribes’ design system--a system that he identified as “strongest inthe art of the Haida and [which] lessened progressively among more and moredistant people” (1967a, N. Pag). Edenshaw’s established identification as “thebest” artist among the Haida, was further extended in the Raven exhibit to hisbeing the greatest master of the Northwest Coast style through Hoim’sidentification of the Haida design system as the point of reference for ..llNorthwest Coast design. Legitimising an Indian-master artist then was ascontingent upon the ‘Indian-master’ being Haida, as it was on constructing himas an individual whose personal interpretation of the rigid rules and principlesof Northwest Coast design signaled his artistic genius, and “elevated [his]masterworks to their place over the many competent but less inspired examplesof Indian work” (Ibid.). Further, Holm argued that individual Northwest CoastIndian-master artists’ concern with the aesthetics of form and composition oftentook precedence over representation and meaning. For example, Holm claimedthat while crest display would “seem to be the most important aspect of theartists’ work, [which are handed down, signifying ownership of First Nationsland resources, and as representations of oral histories] . . . in fact, a good dealmore attention was given to the arrangement of the design for purely aestheticmotives” (Ibid.).12Certainly anyone familiar with Northwest Coast material culture couldargue that considerations of design and aesthetics were important, and that thoseindividuals who carved, painted and wove images and crests into various12n an earlier text, Holm also states, “Formal elements of the design very oftentakes on such importance as to overshadow the symbolic element to a point wherethe symbolism becomes obscure” (Holm 1965, 9).16mediums had a particular place in those societies. However, the problem withHoim’s analysis of the social history of Northwest Coast First Nations peopleswas his presumption (and that of those before and after him) that the valuesand meanings of the western categories of art and artist could be simply appliedto non-western forms as a means of enabling them to transcend time, place andculture. Indeed, the limited scope of Hoim’s paradigm for Northwest CoastIndian mastery makes room for only a lineage of de-politicised Indian artists,more concerned with formalist aesthetics and issues of design than with thesocio-political function of the objects they were producing. Further, Holm’s“official” recognition and definition of traditional practices, which codified andtransformed flexible practices into prescriptive definitions, were mostsignificantly broken with innovative practices learned from the dominant.13Forexample, Bill Reid’s work was (and is) considered ‘innovative’ and thereforesuperior because he applied European technology and jewelery making practiceto ‘traditional forms’. While relegating “traditional” images and practices to thepast refuses recognition that something called traditional could also becontemporary through its contextual use in space and time--not necessarilybecause of actual innovative changes by individual artists,14 privilegingrecognition of individuals and individual innovation by-passed an integralaspect of Northwest Coast aboriginal cultural histories, which included, respectfor clan (group) ownership of images and their socio-political meanings.13Constructing a polarized past and present (tradition from the modern), is itself avery ‘old’ tradition in Western institutional practice. Historian, Bernard S. Cohnargues in his article, “Representing Authority in Victorian India,” (in Hobsbawnand Ranger 1983), that by officially recognizing indigenous traditions throughwestern institutional apparatus, the dominant underlines the colonized peoples’“difference,” thereby naturalising their perceived ‘need’ for a shift from thetraditional ‘old ways’ to the ‘new ways’ of colonial governments (166).14Today, the implications of polarizing a traditional past from a contemporary or‘modern’ present, is that it fails to honour the relevance and contemporary use ofwhat is identified as “traditional” by some First Nations peoples (objects, ritual,government, knowledge) to address issues of sovereignty, control of land andresources, recovery of history, and self-identity.17The Exhibit DesignThe Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibition space was divided into eight individualgalleries (Fig. 3), in which Northwest Coast material culture was categorised “insequence following gallery themes” (Catalogue, N. pag.) The individual gallerieswere labeled: 1. Faces; 2. Small Sculptures in Wood; 3. Interpretation; 4. Slate,Ivory, Horn, Bone and Silver; 5. Flat Design; 6. Charles Edenshaw: Master Arts &Masterpieces of Northwest Coast Indian Art; 7. Arts of the Kwakiutl(Kwakwaka’wakw) and 8. The Art Today.In the entrance to the exhibit, walls and panels were covered with enlargedEdward Curtis photographs of supposed authentic images of Northwest Coastpeoples (Fig. 4). The photographs were taken by Curtis on expeditions to theNorthwest Coast between 1908 and 1914, where he used wigs, imported costumesand artifacts, and directed poses and scripts (Knight 1978, 23). 15 For the purposeof the exhibit, the photo-murals functioned in the entrance as a form ofdocumented introduction to the Northwest Coast tribal groups, who were morefamiliar to a western public as peoples without history. In contrast, the larger-than-life images provided the viewer with a sense of the spacial and temporalorigins of the Northwest Coast Indian--a necessary component in providinglineage for contemporary Indian masterworks. At the same time, the image ofthe exotic Indian of the past provided a familiar locus of recognition for anaudience that was being newly formulated.Although most of the collection located in Gallery 1 consisted of masks, thegallery was entitled “Faces”, which is more closely associated to the figure, that issculpture and high art--as opposed to masks which would call up tribal or Indian15See also: Christopher Lyman, The Vanishing Race and other Illusions:Photographs of Indians by Edward S. Curtis, (New York: Pantheon Press, 1982). Ina book review of the text, Bill Hoim argues that Lyman’s critique of Curtis revealsLyman’s own racial biases, and that many of his arguments are inconsistent andat times poorly researched. Holm argues that while many of Curtis’ photographswere contrived, they also reveal important historical documentation about thathistorical period. See, American Indian Art, (Summer 1983b), 68-70, 73.18art. In fact, the theme of the first gallery extended to the entire exhibit throughthe image of a face on the 1967 catalogue cover, and which was taken from aNorthwest Coast rattle. The catalogue’s introduction to Gallery 1 was alsoimportant in this respect: “To sense a man’s personality or character we searchhis face. To glimpse the character of an art style, we may also begin by searchingthe faces it offers to the world” (1967, N. Pag.).Through the redefinition of a mask into a “face”, and the contiguousarrangement of language, the text produces meanings through association. Thewords “man”, “art style” and “the world” locate Northwest Coast aboriginalmasks in the broader context of universal mankind and the “world” ofinternational art. However, reading the catalogue’s scholarly analysis ofNorthwest Coast masks as “Faces” was distinctly different from experiencingthose faces as masks in the dark theatrical space of the exhibit (Fig. 5). As with theCurtis photo-murals, the faces (masks) provided an existing audience withrecognisable images of the Indian, and produced a new audience for the scholarlyconcept of Northwest Coast Indian Art as Canadian art, fine art, modern art.From this broader context, the audience moved to Gallery 3, “Orientationand Information”, where a map of the different tribal groups in British Columbiasignaled the re-mapping of anthropological tribal categories into fine art styles(Fig.s 6 & 7). These categories were different than, for example, Franz Boas’reclassification of material culture into groups of objects that depicted differencesbetween tribal groups (Jacknis 1985, 75-111). The point of the tribal arrangementsin the Raven exhibit was primarily to signify that there were different NorthwestCoast art styles, not that there were different tribal groups. Following the criteriafor establishing the greatness of the design styles of the northern coastal peoples,the cultural material from the southern part of the province, Nuu-chah-nulth(Nootka) and Salish peoples were excluded. No doubt these were identified bythe curators as those styles and design system that “lessened progressively among19more and more distant people” from the design system which Hoim identifiedas “strongest in the art of the Haida”(1967a, N. pag.).The various mediums and forms of the northern style were located ingalleries forward and adjacent to the Orientation and Information centre: to theright in Gallery 2: “Small Sculptures in Wood” (Fig. 8), to the left in Gallery 4:“Slate, Ivory, Horn, Bone, Silver” (Fig. 9), and forward in Gallery 5: “Flat Design”(Fig. 10), which focused on the “northern graphic style . . . in its purest form onthe flat surfaces” (Duff 1967a, N. pag.) of chests, boxes, woven chilkat blankets.These introductory exhibits were representative of Hoim’s description ofNorthwest Coast art as essentially a wooden art carried out by painting, shallowrelief carving and/or a combination of the preceding two. It also demonstratedthe ability of the Northwest Coast Indian-master artist to move fluidly betweentwo-dimensional art forms to plastic and three-dimensional works.The audience was introduced to the “Masterworks” in Gallery 6 with anenlarged photograph of carver Charles Edenshaw (Fig. 11 & 12), who was born inHaida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) (1835--1920). The use of new phototechnology photo-murals was an important catalyst in linking the past to thepresent. Interestingly, the portrait photo of Edenshaw could have been taken atthe same time as the Curtis photos in the entrance (Fig.s 13 & 4). But thisindividual has a name, wore contemporary clothes and was engaged in anactivity that was recognisable to a Canadian public, associations which werereinforced with the accompanying text and the title “Master Artist”. As a resultthe nameless Indians in the Curtis photos at the exhibit entrance were thencatapulted into modernity through an association with Edenshaw, whose lineagereaches back to the origins of Northwest Coast Indian art, which those figuresserved to signify.As the only model of an Indian-master artist, a Haida individual provided apoint of reference for the exhibit with 65 of the 532 masterworks attributed to20him. His central position in an exhibit celebrating confederation was reinforcedin the exhibit catalogue, by association, with the illustrious origins of Canada’sbody politic--British royalty: “In 1884 [Charles Edenshaw’s] uncle was baptisedAlbert Edward Edenshaw,.. . and he himself became Charles, after the BonniePrince Charlie of Scotland”.16 This reference to Canada’s British heritage alsoreinforced the notion of Edenshaw as a producer of masterworks reflectingtraditional standards and taste, and suggested a parallel lineage between theNorthwest Coast and western Europe.17The Haida exhibit which was to be “unobtrusively interpretive” using largeflat pieces (Fig. 14), stood in binary opposition to the Kwakwaka’wakw exhibit inGallery 7 (Fig. 15), reflecting the two main stylistic distinctions in the exhibit. Thestyle of the Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian is described in the catalogue as“austere”, “intellectual” and “elegant”, in opposition to the “flamboyanthistrionic style of the [Kwakwaka’wakw]” (Shadbolt 1967, N. pag.). Curated todemonstrate the Kwakwaka’wakw ‘s theatrical arts, Gallery 7 was filled withcolours that were “warm and rich, light and shadow strong and dramatic. . . aprofusion of objects and all possible devices such as sound and movement. . . toconvey the essence of the style”.18 Through the juxtaposition of the galleries, theKwakwaka’wakw exhibit acted as a foil to individual works of genius by CharlesEdenshaw in Galley 6--and his designated heirs (Bill Reid and Robert Davidson)in Gallery 8. A closer examination of the opposition could be drawn between theKwakwaka’wakw and the Haida, including a consideration of produceddivisions and hierarchies between Kwakwaka’wakw performance arts and Haida16”Gaflery 6, Charles Audience: Master Artist,” (Duff 1967a, N. pag.).17Christie Harris’ historical narrative of Haida artist, Charles Edenshaw inRaven’s Cry is written by a non-native who refers to the account as “my story”(4)--and it is. It compares Haida social positions to kings, princesses, lords,patricians, and then in turn links Edenshaw’s “aristocratic” position to the“quality” of NWC design (11, 12).18Exhibit “Rationale and General Theme,” VAG Archives, Box A-l02.21visual arts: between Kwakwaka’wakw “art” that was implicitly described asemotive, in opposition to Haida art as cognitive; between material culture thathad (has) use-value in contemporary society (Kwakwaka’wakw potlatch), and thematerial culture of the Haida designated as abstract, and as reflecting aestheticdisinterest.Before considering the relationship of this opposition to the final andeighth Gallery, “The Art Today”, I would like to return to my introductory pointabout the exhibit’s curatorial thesis that constructed the primacy of the Haida,and the way in which this thesis was emphasised by the other exhibit organisers.In the Raven catalogue “Foreword”, Doris Shadbolt made a specific reference to aHaida artist and then Kwakwaka’wakw art, moving from the specific to thegeneral, from master works to theatricality, from an individual work of genius toa category describing works by a group, concluding,Perhaps for the first time, the work of one master artist is singled out forrecognition--Charles Edenshaw (1839-1924). The arts of the[Kwakwaka’wakwl are presented for their full impact of theatricality andthe direction of the arts as continued today is suggested (N. pag).In Wilson Duff’s catalogue essay, “Contexts of Northwest Coast Art”, heexplicitly asserts that while all of the maritime nations were artistic, the mostintensely artistic of these were the Haida. Duff discusses the Tlingit, and thendescribes other coastal nations’ geographical location in relation to the Haida,reiterating the original rational in which Gallery 1 was entitled, “The Two-Dimensional Style of the Haida and their Neighbors”.19My point is this: although one newspaper article referred to the exhibit as“the one man show of Charles Edenshaw”, Edenshaw actually served the more19Duff draws a similar comparison to Shadbolt’s in tracing the development ofIndian art from the late eighteenth century to the nineteenth century. In theArts of the Raven catalogue essay, ‘The Time,’ Duff describes the “Golden age ofthe Haida,” as a period when “Charles Edenshaw grew up and began hisdistinguished career as an artist (N.pag.)” contrasting the period and the manwith a general reference to Kwakiutl art, which he states reached its golden agelater.22important purpose of providing a lineage for his heirs, whose works wereexhibited in the contemporary gallery. Bill Reid is the centre post of a patriarchalform of lineage that reaches back to his great uncle, Charles Edenshaw, andwhich extended forward to a young Robert Davidson who it was implied was“destined to follow in the footsteps of his great-great grandfather, CharlesEdenshaw. Yet according to the constraints of Haida matriarchal lineage, neitherBill Reid or Robert Davidson’s lineage is legitimate.20The contemporary works in Gallery 8 (Fig. 16) included the work of BillReid, Robert Davidson (Haida artists), Doug Cranmer, Tony and Henry Hunt(Kwakwaka’wakw artists) and three artists who were not First Nations from theNorthwest Coast: Bill Holm, Don Lelooska Smith and Michael Johnson.Although representation of the “northern style” also included Tlingit orTsimshian, no contemporary artists from those Nations were included in theexhibit. Significantly, art critic for the Province newspaper, Joan Lowndesconcluded her article of the Raven exhibit this way, “Finally in the airycontemporary room with which the exhibition ends, the work of Bill Reid soarsabove that of every other artist”.21 Interestingly, Peter Macnair, the AssistantAnthropologist at the then British Columbia Provincial Museum in 1967, wroteto Doris Shadbolt a month after the show opened to request that two more of theKwakwaka’wakw carvers’ works be added to the contemporary exhibit; he states,“I feel that our carvers, Henry and Tony Hunt, are not well represented” (RoyalBritish Columbia Museum Archives; emphasis mine).20For the purpose of the Arts of the Raven exhibit, Robert Davidson’s lineage wastraced through his father, Claude Davidson, and Claude Davidson’s mother,Florence Davidson who was Charles Edenshaw’s daughter. However, as Haidas,whose society was and is matriarchal, Robert Davidson would follow the lineage ofhis mother, just as Florence Davidson would follow the lineage of mother--nother father, Charles Edenshaw. See also footnote 22.21Joan •Lowndes. “The Revelation of the Raven: firmly establishes the claim togreatness of Indian art,” The Province, (July 16, 1967), n.p.23Reid, on the other hand, had 13 works in the exhibit, a silver box, threebracelets (two silver and one gold), a gold brooch, an ivory carving, a wood mask(painted), argillite panel pipe, platter and two totem poles. All of these objectsdemonstrated the various ways in which the two-dimensional, design system(“strongest in the art of the Haida” according to Holm) could be applied todifferent mediums and forms. Specifically Reid’s ‘masterworks’ demonstratedthe scope of his expertise compared to the other Native artists who only showedone to three objects. For example, Holm contended that engraved bracelets“frequently represent the best of two-dimensional art” (Holm 1965. 15; emphasismine). Significantly, Reid’s repousse gold bracelet was the only workrepresenting contemporary art in the catalogue. Through Reid’s application ofEuropean methods of jewelry-making, and the northern style of design to aprecious metal that had intrinsic value as an investment associated with class,taste and prestige, Reid demonstrated that he was the contemporary Indian-master artist. He was the model for the Northwest Coast modern artist whocould understand the complexity of an art style based on painting.In fact, Reid’s lineage of genius and mastery was also mapped out inChristie Harris’ book, Raven’s Cry (1966), described by anthropologist,archaeologist and curator Wilson Duff as historically accurate, and one of the beststudies of culture contact “from the Natives’ point of view” (see footnote 15).According to Duff, Harris’ book recounted the history of “Haida art in the handsof the genius Charles Edenshaw and also in the hand of Bill Reid today. . . (jacketcover)”. The book included a lineage chart connecting Reid to Edenshaw throughhis mother’s father, Charles Gladstone, who was the son of Charles Edenshaw’ssister(Fig. 17).22 In the final chapter of Raven’s Cry, Bill Reid is quoted asdescribing the work of Charles Edenshaw as22While Reid does follow the lineage of his mother, she would have followedthe lineage of her father, Charles Gladstone. However, in the lineage chart (Fig.17), Charles Gladstone’s lineage quite correctly is traced through his mother, whowas Charles Edenshaw’s sister. Perhaps in recognition of the error of what Harris24the distillation of thousands of years of evolution in one decorative style,[which] some genius must discover.. . as Picasso discovered African art,and evolve a great new art form. But until that genius comes along...(Harris 1966, 193).Although the final sentence of Reid’s quote trails off into an ellipsis, the text’snarrative maps out the lineage of Edenshaw’s forebears and his heirs, implicitlypointing to Reid as the “Picasso” who would “rediscover” Northwest CoastIndian art--as did the Raven exhibit itself. But what place could there be for anIndian-Picasso, in an era when the concept of genius, and the hierarchy,centricity, autonomy and boundaries of the discipline of fine art, was beingquestioned?As a hyphenated category, a new and exclusive space was created for an“Indian-master”, which did not make room for most contemporary “craftsmen”whose works” were incorrectly formed and placed” (Holm 1965, 80-81).According to Hoim most of the contemporary carvers lacked an understandingof the design principles governing the northern style as he defined them (Ibid.).In fact, the state of Northwest Coast Indian art in the sixties is explained by Holmin his discussion of the limitations of his study for his book, Northwest CoastIndian Art: An Analysis of Form:Ideally, a study of this sort should lean heavily on information fromIndian artists trained in the tradition that fostered the art. Unfortunately, Iwas unable to locate a qualified informant for the area covered, i.e., thecoast region from Bella Coola to Yakutat Bay. That there may be some stillliving is not questioned, but contemporary work seen from the areareveals a lack of understanding by Indian craftsmen of the principles thatare the subject of this study. Bill Reid, perhaps the best Haida craftsmanworking today thoroughiy understands the art, but he like the author, hasreconstructed the rules from examination and analysis of old pieces (Holm1965, vii; emphasis mine).attempted to established in the first edition, the chart is not included in the 1993edition of the Raven’s Cry.25Reid had demonstrated that he was more than just “a wood chipper”,making copies of past Indian art like his Haida Skidegate relatives.23 At thesame time that Hoim referred to himself and Reid as two of the few individualshaving the knowledge to create Northwest Coast masterworks, the exhibitorganisers’ evaluation of local and contemporary knowledge about Native art bylocal artists was explicitly expressed in the original rational for the show this way:The public is in need of guidance as to the quality of present day IndianArt. A few Indian artists are producing materials which are either validdevelopments of good traditional styles or new forms of intrinsic merit.Most of the present ‘Indian art’ is junk.24Of course this evaluation had as much to do with circulating forms of what wasidentified as “tourist art” that many Native artists were producing at the time.25Given the curators’ position that there was a paucity of qualified carvers whounderstood the principles of Northwest Coast northern design style, and an231n Christie Harris’ book, Raven’s Cry, she asserts that Reid saw his “oldSkidegate relatives who were still chipping slate. ..as straight copyists. .. .[and he]certainly did not want to be a totem pole chipper” (190).24See “Rationale”, “Title: ‘The Present State of Northwest Coast Art’....Subject: TheProduction of present day Indian artists, and of non-Indians using Indian styles.Influence of Indian art on art in general”. VAG Archives, Box A-102.25In Karen Duffek’s unpublished M.A. thesis, “The Contemporary Northwest CoastIndian Art Market” (1983), she describes souvenir or tourist art as “characterisedby a reduction and distortion of the producer’s belief and symbolic systems that isdetermined in part by the tourist buyers’ preconceived notions of what isrepresentative of the producer’s culture and by the producer’s perception of thetourists’ preference” (Duffek 1983, 71). While this description is not entirelyincorrect, it raises some important issues in relation to the Raven curators’ aimsnot only to contribute to the shift of artifact to art, but in the assumptions made increating a standards for the ‘quality’ for “Masterworks by the Northwest CoatIndian”. The opposition drawn between tourist art and fine art implies that thereare certain differences between the production and consumption of popular andfine art forms of Northwest Coast material culture: that the “classical” form iscreated not produced; that the formal art historical terms and categories forNorthwest Coast Indian art were and are not reductive or a distortion of theobjects’ contextual meanings within First Nations communities; that “creating”commissioned reproductions for museums does not determine the production of“Masterworks”; and that Northwest Coast “Masterworks” exist as discrete works ofgenius somewhere outside of institutional practice and the commercial artmarket.26abundance of “incorrectly” rendered work or “junk”, the curatorial strategy wasto:provide a standard against which people can measure their tastes and theirfavorites. The incentive of having their pieces in the category ofmasterpieces will help induce institutions and collectors to lend them tous; the honor will increase the prestige and value of their collection.26Setting New StandardsThe goals of the exhibit organisers to create “a” standard, can also be seen then asa strategy that placed what was categorized as “tourist art” in opposition to“quality” work. More than that, their goal to increase the prestige and value ofexisting collections of Northwest Coast Indian art, and its corollary, economicvalue raises the issue of what was at stake for the curators of the Raven exhibitand the Vancouver Art Gallery. Historically, there had been many stakeholderswho had contributed to the movement aimed at increasing the prestige andvalue of Northwest Coast Indian art, each for reasons specific to their historicalmoment. The standard for exhibiting Northwest Coast Indian Art, which theVAG was now attempting to surpass, had been set, in part nearly a decade earlier,in two previous shows at the Gallery that exhibited Northwest Coast culturalobjects: People of the Potlatch: Native Arts and Culture of the Pacific NorthwestCoast (Morris, 1956), and 100 Years of B.C. Art (1958). The catalogue for the 1956exhibit was produced as a handbook that was to add to the then sparse number ofpublications on Pacific Northwest Indian Art. Like the Arts of the Ravenexhibit’s goals, expressed in the Foreword of the catalogue, People of the Potlatchproposed to “show a wide range of the art form.. . [with] as many objects aspossible of high quality which have not previously been published elsewhere”(Morris 1956, N. pag). While the intention of the exhibit was to focus on thequality of art objects, its discussion of Northwest Coast material culture centred26”Rationale” for People of the Salmon and the Cedar, VAG Archives, Box A-102.27primarily on the geographic and ethnological context in which the ‘art’developed.Two years later, in celebration of the Province’s centennial, the VancouverArt Gallery exhibit, 100 Years of British Columbia Art (1958) included in one ofits six sections, “Art of the B.C. Indian”, thereby providing a lengthy artistichistory for what was considered to be ‘a young province’. Then VAG curator,Robert Hume, contended in the preface of the catalogue that British Columbia’s“artistic endeavour extends far into our history and prior to the arrival of whitepeople (N. pag.; emphasis mine)”. The Haida design on the front and back of thecatalogue cover was an original drawing prepared by Bill Reid especially for thecatalogue. While the exhibit recognised Northwest Coast First Nations cultureswithin the context of western historicising and British Columbia’s artisticendeavor, the catalogue did not provide its audience with individualised namesof the “artists” or any kind of curatorial history--as did the Masterzvorks by theNorthwest Coast Indian exhibit.And yet, consider the way in which the term masterworks was contrastedwith contemporary art in Artscanada, 1967 The periodical featured alternatingmonthly artides of “Masterworks, presenting important works of art historyfrom Canadian collections” one month, and Contemporary art the next.27Implicit in the editorial organisation is a distinction between the old and thenew, the recognition of a past that provides contemporary art with a pedigree. Onthe one hand, as Masterworks signifying a Canadian past, the Raven exhibit wasnot much different than the VAG’s 1958 exhibit that provided British Columbiawith its long history of “artistic endeavor”. On the other hand, an exhibit of“Indian” Masterworks could also be described as a contemporary art exhibit thatfunctioned as a tool of intervention against normative modernist practice.27”Masterworks in Canada’.. .will alternate with the series, ‘Contemporary Art inCanada,’ which first appeared in the January issue” in artscanada, (February1967), n.p.28In the text, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, PierreBourdieu draws attention to the production of the aesthetic disposition by the‘educated nobility’, who claim:the capacity to consider in and for themselves, not only the works [of art]designated for such apprehension. . . but everything in the world,including cultural objects which are not yet consecrated--such as at onetime, primitive arts or nowadays, popular photography or kitsch--andnatural objects (1984, 3).However, such a concept presupposes intellectual binarisms such ashigh/low culture and production/consumption. For example, it implies that thereclassification of objects previously associated with Northwest Coast materialculture and with referents in the social world, into a sign that signifies non-aboriginal quality, taste, and prestige (and which still function as signs withinFirst Nations communities, or anthropology, or science and so on) arecompletely absorbed into a program for perception that remains fixed orunchanging. Clearly a multi-reading of the exhibition could not simply be erasedthrough its regulatory apparatus--the educative processes of the exhibitionsinstallation, texts (catalogue, reviews, advertisements), lectures, and theproduction of new categories. Even though the Northwest Coast cultural objectshave been reworked to mean something different, they are nevertheless objectsof extremely diverse histories. Bourdieu’s argument explains a part of thestruggle or process by which meaning is negotiated in the public sphere. Thecultural industry’s power to define and reshape representation cannot beignored. However, this argument does not account for the process of the effect ofthis transformation of Native material culture on the First Nationscommunities themselves. Bourdieu’s explanation of the appropriation andtransformation of cultural objects does not address why First Nations artists andspeakers participated in the exhibition: nor does it account for the different ways29in which a diverse public, including Native and non-native audiences may havedecoded the exhibition. As cultural studies theorist, Stuart Hall points out:These definitions don’t have the power to occupy our minds; they don’tfunction on us as if we were blank screens. But they do occupy and reworkthe interior contradictions of feeling and perception in the dominatedclasses; they do find or clear a space of recognition in those who respond tothem (Hall 1981).The question then arises, how did the inclusion of other cultural voices, not justcultural objects (i.e., a Haida curator, writer, and artist, Bill Reid, and artist RobertDavidson, practising Kwakwaka’wakw artists, Douglas E. Cranmer, Tony andHenry Hunt, and Native speakers, Salish Chief Simon Baker, and Mrs. DorothyFrancis, from the Salteaux Nation) change the shape of institutional practice atthe VAG, and perhaps other institutions?In recreating Northwest Coast art as a cultural commodity that also signifiedprestige and honour, the exhibit organisers were not attempting to redefine andconsecrate what they considered “junk” as fine art. Rather, through the use ofHolm’s paradigm and the exhibit’s focus on Northwest Coast masterworkslinked to individual genius, they sought to “re”-create an “authentic” modelused by traditional Northwest Coast “artists”--whose knowledge, according to theexperts, could now only be found in western academic texts, and whosemasterworks were only accessible in western institutions and private collections.The “quality” of the work was then instituted by the “educated nobility”--thecurators and self-defined experts of Northwest Coast art, and eventually by anaudience and patron who would also be educated as to how to evaluate “quality”Northwest Coast art created through individual acts of genius. It was thisposition of individual genius (as defined by Holm’s modernist paradigm) thatwould contribute to the creation of a standard linked to taste and prestige.In his article, “The art of big business”, Brian Wallis discusses the officialideology of the humanities, that of liberal humanism that stresses theimportance of the unique individual. He states:30[lit prefers purified aesthetics divorced from politics. . . . validates theproclivities and dominance of the upper classes . . . [and the] valorizationof wealth and upper-class values (1983, 7-10).In keeping with status that the exhibit organisers sought to produce, Arts of theRaven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian opened as a champagne andblack tie affair (Fig. 18 & 19). Very few First Nations people attended the opening,but those who did came in the appropriate “Native costume”--or black tie.However, the opening was well-attended by those who represented wealth,power and upper-class values of Vancouver society and Canadian government.These were, after all, the target audience and the patron, and those who had thepower to facilitate the shift of Northwest Coast material culture fromethnography to art at a structural level. Bill Reid points to Wilson Duff as a keyplayer in creating value and patrons for Northwest Coast Indian art, not only inrelation to the Raven exhibit, but to his long-time commitment to the study andpromotion of Northwest Coast material culture as “art”:[Wilson Duff was]... a powerful propagandist for the art of the Northwestcoast people. Many wealthy dealers in primitive art in New York andLondon should pay tribute to the part he played in bringing this greattreasure to the attention of the public (Reid 1981, 14).Both Holm and Duff were curators in charge of acquisitions, building thecollections of their institutions. From these institutional positions, the threecurators also reinforced and expanded on their area of expertise in Primitiveand/or Indian art, which had not yet fully recognised Northwest Coast Indian artas masterworks. In the case of Reid and Holm, they were in a position as curatorsand as writers for the Raven exhibit catalogue to create a legitimate space forthemselves as contributing master craftsmen who were two of the “few” artists(according to Holm) who understood the rules and principles of Northwest Coastdesign. In terms of the curators’ academic expertise, Wilson Duff was recognisedfor his continued interest in Northwest Coast “art”, which had begun in the early311950s (Suttles 1982-3, 88, 89)28 as an extension of his study of and pedagogicalcontributions to Northwest Coast material culture as archaeology andanthropology. Regarding his interest in Northwest Coast indian art, Duff statedin his biographical notes,I am aware. . . that I am redefining ethnological materials as ‘fine arts’ anddiscovering ‘great artists’ of the Haida past, thus strengthening an aspect ofIndian identity and creating authentic Indians heros (MOA Archives, Box2-93, n.d.).One of those Haida “heroes” that Duff helped to “create” was, of course, BillReid, who was recognised as one of the ‘rare’ contemporary Haidas whounderstood Northwest Coast design through his scholarly knowledge and hisartistic expertise. Bill Holm was recognised for his significant contribution to theexisting discourse of Primitive and Indian art.Modernism and qualityIn the catalogue for Vancouver Art and Artists: 1931-1983, a retrospective exhibitof the Vancouver Art Gallery, Doris Shadbolt explained the central role ofHoim’s analysis in the exhibit in relation to the prevailing modernist discourseat the time:When we did the Arts of the Raven for 1967 we proudly announced thatwe were presenting an exhibition of art--”high art.” We weren’t ignoringits anthropological or historical aspects, but in putting it assertively in anart context we were sure we were doing something important, evensomewhat innovative at the time. The confidence with which we couldmake that assertion had a lot to do with the prevailing modernist attitudewhich had helped to make native art available to us--for, whatevercomplex appeals the arts of indigenous people first made to Westernsocieties, the modernist attitude, with the superior status it conferred on28Suttles points to Duff s interest in NWC material culture as “art” as beginning inthe early fifties through his involvement in the totem pole salvage/restorationwhich entailed “salvaging” poles from the NWC, restoring them, and creatingcopies of the original. In the 1950s, this project was jointly sponsored by theBritish Columbia Provincial Museum and the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, asdiscussed in Chapter Three.32formal qualities and structures, gave us a way of looking at native art thatwe could comprehend and were accustomed to. Bill Holm spelled out thatapproach as it applied to West Coast Indian art in definitive terms in hisbook of 1965 (Shadbolt 1983, 268, 69; emphasis mine).In other words, the existing maxim for modern art and the superior status itconferred on formal qualities (within what was in effect a “Greenbergian”modernist paradigm, which I will discuss below), could be extended to “include”Northwest Coast material culture. By expanding on the “prevailing modernistattitude”, Hoim and the other curators were able to attract an existing audiencefor Primitive, Indian and Modern art, who were then able to comfortably“comprehend” masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian. Within thisframework, the exhibit became more than a centennial celebration of a regionalor national art; it was, according to Bill Hoim, “the centennial of the high pointof a significant movement among the world arts” (196Th, 4).While the notion of quality as a criteria for assigning value to art itself canbe dated back to medieval times and/or the Renaissance, I will briefly considerthe prevailing methodology used in the sixties for assigning value to works ofwestern modern art. As Francis Franscina and Charles Harrison have noted in,Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology (1982, 5), this methodologywas initially given prominence, in part, by Alfred H. Barr Jr. in the 1936 Museumof Modern Art exhibition catalogue, Cubism and Modern Art . Barr focusedprimarily on formal and technical criteria, which determined the value orquality of modern art within the supposedly disinterested realm of aesthetics.This particular history for modern art, supported by certain institutional,political and social forces, was greatly influenced in the fifties and sixties by arttheorist, Clement Greenberg. In this period Greenberg and others created a linear‘avant-garde’ history of modern art for Abstract Expressionist painters, such asJackson Pollock, that reached back to Manet. It was during these years that theNew York School “style” of Abstract Expressionism became a kind of“international style” with its emphasis on the development of art style within an33autonomous discipline (Franscina 1985, 91 1O6),29 thereby effectivelydisseminating internationally as superior, asocial and apolitical art forms whoseprinciple site of meaning lay in form and technique, and notions of quality as“disinterested discriminations of value”.30Greenbergian modernism with its formalist aesthetics was a complexphenomenon. My argument is that it was used as a paradigm by the producers ofthe Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian. In effect, thisparticular form of formalist modernism then intersected with Holm’s analysis ofNorthwest Coast material culture as a world or international art, in terms of itsconcern with flatness, two-dimensionality and paint, and a patriarchal, linearprogression of artistic practice by disinterested Indian artists. Northwest Indianmasterworks then were not concerned with the politics of land, resources andFirst Nations Northwest Coast histories--other than the ones constructed in textthough western expertise.VAG and International SuccessThe international success of the Raven exhibit was described eight years later byWilson Duff as “the threshold over which Northwest Coast art came to its fullrecognition as fine art as well as primitive art”. Further, Duff attributed thesuccess of the exhibit to the singular, aesthetic eye of Richard Simmins as theinitiator of the project (Duff 1975, 13). Although Simmins left the VAG beforethe project was completed, it is important to consider the part he played as29See, Franscina et a!. 1985 for a discussion of the way in which formal andtechnical appearances were used in the 1950s and 1960 to create a historicistvalidation of Abstract Expressionism.301bid., 15, 93. The above summary is based on Introductions to Chapters I & II(Franscina et al. 1985) which deal with the shifts and developments in thetradition of Modernism from the 1930s to the 1970s vis a vis Alfred H. Barr Jr.,Clement Greenberg, Michael Fried, and Rubin (3-20 & 91-106; any errors are myown).34Director of the Gallery in bringing the exhibit to fruition, and the relationship ofthe exhibit to the Gallery’s goals within art practice at the time.By 1962, the Gallery’s primary objective was to address an impending threatof bankruptcy (Harris 1985).31 The terms of Simmins’ appointment as Directorin February 1963 entailed, among other things, expanding exhibitions,programming and funding. According to Doris Shadbolt, who became curator in1963:Richard Simmins was determined to get us [the VAG] out of the kids’league, and everything that meant. I think that was his real contribution.Richard would say, “If you are into art, which we are, you are in all theway. You are concerned with quality all the way through” (1983, 135).And quality was the operative word for securing financial support fromoutside sources, and to increase the grant received by Canada Council, whosemandate was to fund only “excellence” or “the best”--which had, up to this point,mostly excluded amateur and regional work. While these standards are clearlyreflective of the values of those who have the power to determine whatconstitutes excellence or quality, Simmins’ “aesthetic eye” and the “superiorstatus conferred on formal qualities and structures” (See Shadbolt, above)obviously figured into the kinds of exhibitions that the VAG would have toproduce in order to access funding, and create new audiences for a flounderinginstitution.Under the direction of Simmins, the Vancouver Art Gallery held its firstmajor historical show, The Nude in Art (November, 1964), featuring the worksof Manet, Cezanne, Durer, Matisse, Picasso and other canonical figures.3 1 Harris’ unpublished M.A. thesis, “Of Rauschenberg, Policy andRepresentation at the Vancouver Art Gallery,” examines the history of thetransition of the VAG from its inception as a civic institution in 1931, to aninstitution that gained national status in the sixties. His discussion of the Galleryis framed within what he describes as “the Scylla of government funding and theCharybclis of private interests” (1). See also: Chapter 2, “The Vancouver ArtGallery 1966-74: Success and Failure” (68-75) for an analysis of the VAG’sfinancial history, which provides the background for this paragraph and thefollowing two (Department of fine Arts, University of “British Columbia, 1985).35Tutankhamen Treasures (January, 1965) had a record attendance of 78,000 duringits one month exhibition. Attendance at the Gallery tripled between 1962-1965,due in part to the success of Simmin’s strategic shift into the international arenaby producing ‘quality’ exhibitions. With VAG’s growing reputation, Simminsbrought in London: The New Scene (1966), exposing Vancouver to British Pop,Op and the shaped canvas. By September of 1966, Jean Marineau, head of theCanada Council announced that the VAG was ‘the most progressive in Canada’and the VAG was awarded the largest operating grant because, compared toMontreal and Toronto, the Gallery was moving ahead so fast (Wilcox 1983,142).32This shift in status for a provincial art gallery to one that gained nationalrecognition must also be addressed in relation to Canada’s history at the time.Steven Harris’ “Of Rauschenberg, Policy and Representation at the VancouverArt Gallery,” discusses the Canada Council’s (CC) lack of support for the VAGbefore 1965 in relation to CC’s limited funds, and the limitations of the VAGCouncil’s ‘civic’ vision of the Arts in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Thissituation at the Gallery during this period is discussed in the context ofVancouver as a city with no art market, and as a place where only a handful ofartists were able to teach.33 The shift into becoming the most progressive gallery32Wilcox (former visual arts officer for Canada Council) also states that it was“Simmins irrepressible determination which made it subsequently possible for m eto change the priorities for art galleries in [CC’s] programs of assistance” (157). Asone of four Canada Council (CC) recipients, the VAG received $68,000.00 in 1967, asubstantial increase from the CC grant of $17,000. in 1965, and $38,000. in 1966.Tony Emery, stated in relation to the Raven exhibit, that its quality was ofsufficient impact to generate this kind of support, and that much of the grantwould go to offset the high cost of the Raven exhibit. The Province, (Aug. 15,1967), n.p.33Despite the VAG’s “success,” a 1967 artscanada article, described Vancouver as aregional centre with no collectors, no commercial galleries (at least none thatfulfilled the function of the Ferus or the Dwan Galleries in Los Angeles), exceptfor the Douglas Christmas Gallery. It describes Doris Shadbolt (temporary Directorof the VAG) and Alvin Balkin (Director of the UBC Fine Arts Gallery) as two of thefew forward looking individuals who were working toward making theirrespective galleries centres for younger artists in Vancouver. “Vancouver: scenewith no scene,” artscanada, vol. 24 No. 6, 7 (June/July 1967), 2-8.36in Canada, as Harris writes, takes place in the juncture between a civic gallery’sroute to survival (after Simmins arrives on the scene), and the federalgovernment’s desire for an increased role in the nations’ cultural life (Harris1985, 70). The Liberal party’s focus on culture in the sixties was examined byDavid Howard in his unpublished thesis, “Progress in the Age of Rigor Mortis”,in which he asserts that federal support for cultural projects was a strategy tocreate a federalist ideology that would address regional and cultural disparitiesand provide an alternative to ‘colonialist’ American influence (Howard 1986,112) (This will be more thoroughly discussed in Chapter Three). Given this, theCanada Council funding made available to VAG in 1966 and 1967, had as muchto do with federal restructuring of cultural policy in 1963 as part of a nationalistagenda, and the formation of the Secretary of State (under which Canada Councilbegan receiving Parliamentary appropriations in 1965) (Harris 1985, 69-73), as itdid with the vision of Richard Simmins.InternationalismIn a preview of the exhibit, Holm drew attention to the fact that “. . . oneimportant by-product of Arts of the Raven will be a new realisation of the actualperson among the hitherto faceless artists of the world’s non-literate cultures.“. Holm then referred to the “versatile Haida master, Charles Edenshaw” whodied in 1924, and linked him to the exhibit’s “contemporary artists” (Holm 196Th,4). Yet, ironically, none of the contemporary master artists were identified byname, which raises the question, whose name and position were the exhibitorganisers trying to legitimise--Northwest Coast First Nations artists, or theindividuals who sought to establish the legitimacy of a modernist paradigm for ahitherto, unrecognised quality art form to be exhibited in a gallery committed to“getting out of the kids league”? In the above review, one of Holm’s concerns37was that the recognition of the aesthetic qualities of Northwest Coast art had notyet been established, pointing to a major art museum’s refusal of a proffered giftof a private collection of Pacific Northwest Coast Indian art.Clearly, institutional processes (educative, literary and scholarly apparatus),as well as media coverage, would be required to establish and sustain a shiftinginventory of Northwest Coast “Indians” and their material culture to the newcategory of Indian-master and masterworks. The VAG’s cultural claim forascendancy was to be realised in part through the international dissemination ofthe exhibit’s catalogue, which explained the aesthetic and scholarly criteria for“quality” Northwest Coast art.While this exhibition will coincide with and constitute a majorcelebration in this country of the Canadian centennial, the exhibit isplanned as an event of international significance,. . . [comprised of objects]selected on the basis of aesthetic criteria . . . .The scholarly catalogue whichwe will produce will be distributed to galleries, museums, libraries, and toother centres on this continent and abroad, giving the exhibitionpermanent form and extending its significance.34Of course, a crucial contribution to the ‘scholarly catalogue’ was Bill Holm’s textNorthwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form (1965). This catalogue that wasto ‘give the exhibition permanent form and extend its significance’ was sent tothe New York Times and Art News. According to Joan Lowndes, art critic forPacific Press in Vancouver, the responses that the catalogue elicited from artcritics John Canaday and Edouard Roditi, attested to the VAG’s ability to mount ashow of international calibre, declaring the VAG’s need for a spacecommensurate with its merits and the importance of Vancouver (1983, n.p.).The Province , a Vancouver newspaper, also proclaimed in 1967 that the acclaimfor the show by New York critic, Canaday was “[piroof of Vancouver ArtGallery’s increased stature and its ability to mount an original exhibition of34Doris Shadbolt, Draft form letter for request for loan of collections to theexhibit. VAG Archives, Box A-102.38international standards”. However, Canaday, like Hoim, focused his discussionon the art style and its form. None of the craftsmen/master artists’ works shownin the contemporary gallery of the Raven exhibit, were identified or discussed inthis review. Canaday’s recognition of Northwest Coast material culture as fineart, was therefore only a partial recognition; one that maintainedmarginalization by refusing a contemporary present for First Nations peoples,but recognised the potential for positioning this “style” of a formal art practice inthe canons of western art history.35At the same time that this exhibit sought to produce an internationalaudience for Northwest Coast Indian art, some of those same objects still hadcurrency as regional, provincial and national promotions for tourism, as relics,as scientific evidence of Canada and/or British Columbia’s archaeological past, asa provincial or Canadian heritage that translated into logos for corporations andpublic institutions, as handicraft or tourist art, as ethnology, as Indian art, and, toa limited degree, Primitive art. Despite the ambitious objectives of all the stake-holders in the Raven exhibition to rework Northwest Coast objects intosomething different, they were, nevertheless, objects of extremely diverse originthat had to be accounted for.An examination of a series of changes made to the Raven exhibit’s workingtitle partially reveals the way in which the exhibit organisers attempted to35”Not Coptic, Not Melanesian, Not Even African,” New York Times, (Sept. 3, 1967),n.p. Ironically, although many of the newspaper articles written about the Artsof the Raven exhibit refer to Canaday’s review of the show and the attention hepays to the Canadian exhibit, his review is framed within the boundaries of theU.S.. The image used to illustrate his article is a Tlingit mask from Alaska. Helocates the NWC between the Northern and Southern points of the Alaskanpanhandle and Washington’s Puget Sound. He also compares the show to the 1962exhibition of Northwest Coast “Masterworks” at the World’s fair in Seattle. Byreferring to the fact that only 3 of the 27 private collectors represented werefrom New York, and that NWC art is all but unheard of by Europeans (but would bea revelation in the international arena), Canaday implied that Canadianrepresentation of NWC art could easily be an American one--if the right collectorstook an interest. Further, he intimates that Canadians have been remiss inrecognizing an existing art form in their own country.39address their own struggle with changing definitions and conventions regarding“the Indian” among anthropologists and art historians. The initial proposal forthe exhibit in the Summer of 1966 had been entitled, People of the Salmon andthe Cedar.36 Privileging an ethnological context, the title was incongruous withthe Raven exhibit’s goals to focus on Northwest Coast art, nor did it “go farther”than the earlier shows’ focus on an ethnological context for the ‘art’.In a draft letter to Dr H. L. Shapiro, Chairman of The American Museum ofNatural History in New York, D. Shadbolt suggested that Reid “ask Wilson [Duff]and Richard [Simmins] et. al, about the title, Legacy of the Raven”.37 However,hard copy of the letter to Shapiro dated December 6, 1966 refers to the show as,Creatures of the Raven: Masterworks of West Coast Indian Art. And in aDecember 14, 1966 draft cover letter to potential lenders, the space for a possibletitle is left blank.38 The title, Legacy of the Raven , does not specifically refer towhat the significance of the “Raven” was39--although all of those involved inplanning the show may have understood that a reference to masterworks or artwould follow the first phrase. In the next suggested title, Creatures of the Raven:Masterworks of West Coast Indian Art, beginning the first phrase with ‘Creature’puts stress on the art’s difference, rather than Art itself, and infers a relationship36Draft cover letter to potential lenders states, “We first wrote last summerconcerning a major exhibition of West Coast Indian art... .Formerly referred to asPeople of the Salmon and the Cedar, the title of the exhibition will be ... [thissection is left blank]” (Dec. 14, 1966). VAG Archives, Box A-102.37See final page “p.s., Bill...and try ‘Legacy of the Raven’ on Wilson, Richard, eta!.” (letter is cc: Bill Reid) VAG Archives, Box A-102.38The January 1967 edition of artscanada refers to the exhibit as “People of theSalmon and the Cedar, a major northwest-coast Indian art exhibition”. See also:Barry Lord. “The Birthday Party,” artscanada, (January, 1967), 2.39”me significance of the raven in terms of Northwest coast oral histories was itsdepiction as a transformer, or trickster. Whereas the Eagle didn’t really do muchother than sitting around looking important.” Bill Reid. (private conversation,July 8, 1993). Raven mythologies also were included on didactic panels in theorientation gallery.40between creatures and masterworks that emerges from an established art category(Indian art). Whereas, Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest CoastIndian , directs attention to the relationship between “Art” derived from a‘different’ culture, and the universal or international category of Masterworks.In the second phrase,. . . by the Northwest Coast Indian, the definite article “the”refers to a specific Indian--albeit, one that calls up both the individual Indian anda singular, homogenous group entity. The masterworks are made b thisparticular subject, which is different than the previous title, which infers thatmasterworks simply evolve out f the Indian art category. The grammaticalstructure of the final title puts its initial emphasis on the Arts of the Raven;while this art is different, it is still linked to the universal category ofMasterworks. Interestingly, Northwest Coast Masterworks are created by anIndian with agency, but who still is not in the subject position.At the same time that the Raven exhibit organisers sought to establish alineage of de-politicized Indian-master artists “more concerned with formalistaesthetics and design than the socio-political significance of the objects they wereproducing” (p.14 above), the “international style” of Abstract Expressionism andthe hierarchical notions surrounding fine art, were being challenged. Forexample, in Canada in 1967, regionalist artist, Greg Curnoe was concerned with“getting as far away from ‘fine art’ as possible, and was opposed to imitating anyinternational school, before [Canadians] had experienced it themselves”(paraphrased).4°That same year, a painting by Claude Breeze, SundayAfternoon: From an Old American Photograph (1965), which depicted AfricanAmericans who had been lynched, created a furor when it was produced inartscanada (Silcox 1983, 156). According to an artscanada article dealing with theVancouver art scene, ‘avante-garde’ artists, such as Gary Lee Nova parodicallycriticized the “uptightness with which the most advanced art in New York40Woodman. artscanada. vol. 24, No. 8/9, (August/September, 1967) n.p.41niggles with problems of flatness [in] a genuine search for convincingalternatives”. Ian Baxter’s McLuhanesque, photography-based work provided acritique of what an artist was, and Michael Morris parodied the concerns of allshaped canvas artists (vol.24, No. 6,7, June/July 1967: 7, 8). While the aboveartists work can be described as positioned against the rigidity and prescriptiverules of formalism, as protesting social injustice, and producing works whichsought to explode the hierachy of fine art, the New York School’s formalaesthetic values still-informed art historical discourse (See footnote 75). As inany self-reflexive or parodic approach, the artists both engage in a critique whileacknowledging in their work the history it emerges out of--a history that wasfirmly in place, unlike the work of the Northwest Coast Indian-master artistwhose curatorial histories were just being established.By the 1960s, the formalist discourse that art historians such as WilliamRubin, Alfred Barr, John Rewald and art critic, Clement Greenberg had mappedout, had become prescriptive, reductive, easily digestible and subject to themachine of mass culture. In other words, it ceased to call up its particularhistorical reasons for being, and had become a predictable formula. Yet asThomas Crow asserts:Greenberg’s critics have almost exclusively focused on the prescriptiveoutcome of his analysis and there is some justice in this in that since 1950or so Greenberg himself has been rather myopically enamored with thoseprescriptions . . . which push aside the initial logic of his criticism and theparticular urgency that prompted it (237).Here, Crow refers to the highly political historic circumstances that Greenbergfirst sought to address, in which he argued for the necessity of creating an ‘art forart’s sake’ that was asocial and apolitical. As writers, Franscina and Harrisonhave observed, Greenberg issued a call for a particular kind of art, one whichcould not be appropriated to political agendas; and he did so within thecomplexity of a particular historical moment concerned with political issues such42as Trotskyism, Communism, Fascism, Democracy and the Cold War (1982, 98,99).However, as Crow asserts above, the complex socio-political history of thedevelopment of a “Greenbergian” form of modernism had become prescriptive,at once digestible and of “superior status”. This was the theoretical underpinningof a formalist modernism that informed Holm’s analysis of Northwest Coastfine art. Overlaid onto First Nations images, the formal language produced ahybrid object that did not, and could not, refer to “the initial logic” ofmodernism’s inception. Correspondingly, Northwest Coast material culturalobjects as “Canadian art, fine art, modern art” could not refer to the complexlayered histories out of which they emerged, confined as they were to“Greenbergian modernism’s” rules: art is about itself, cannot refer to objects,(textual or oral) narratives, or the politics of the “real” world. Impotent andsilenced, Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian, initiallydid not speak to the strength of the oral socio-political histories, institutions,rituals, social hierarchies, laws, territories, rights and privileges, and languages ofNorthwest Coast First Nations peoples--past or present. Contained and delimited by what would later become a prescriptive formula for good, or quality,Northwest Coast art, an evacuated formalist modernist discourse held the hybridobjects in suspension in the apolitical, asocial and bourgeois void of aninternational arena--an arena to which most First Nations artists would nothave access.When individuated Northwest Coast Indian art made its debut in theinternational arena in 1967, most Native artists did not have agency asrepresentatives of Northwest Coast Native cultures within institutional practicein British Columbia. Even eleven years later, very few First Nations artists hadbeen privileged enough to enter the realm of the international artist. In Octoberof 1978, a Toronto-based art consultant told Native artists at the first National43Native Artists Conference held on Manitoulin Island that, “To survive in theinternational art world you have to fight a very difficult fight. You have to be anindividual and a master first” (Lazore 1978, 83).41 Perhaps more importantly, ina review of the First National Native Artists’ Conference, the writer observedthat the agenda topics (international marketing, self-management and the legaland business aspects of art) “were in the distant future for the majority of theparticipants”; Hill referred to one artist, who stated that “he hoped that he wouldbe successful enough. . . to encounter some of the problems being discussed bythe resource people” (Hill 1978b, 37).Exhibit ProgrammingThe social positions of Native people in relation to Euro-Canadian society in1967 was implicit in the contrast between the “lectures” given by the experts whowere associated with institutions and particular academic disciplines, and theNative “storytellers” whose programmed audience were children. The “experts”spoke at MOA and at the VAG about a form of universal art, Indian/High Art.The two “story tellers” were Simon Baker (described as appearing in Coast Salish“costume”42)and Mrs Dorothy Francis, from the Salteaux Nation. Significantly,both of these individuals told their “stories” in the children’s gallery, which hadbeen converted into an “Indian longhouse setting”. According to newspaperaccounts and advertisements, they both enthralled and delighted children withstories and legends of the days when only Indians lived in B.C.. Implicit in an411n the same periodical in “A Retrospect of Indian Art,” Tom Hill discusses FirstNations artists, Arthur Shilling and Clifford Maracle’s recognition that, “theycouldn’t. make it now selling themselves as Indians, that to sell themselves, theyhad to be an individual and they could not sell their paintings under some sort oflabel called Indian art. They had to sell it under their names” (37).42”Indian Storyteller at the Art Gallery,” Western News & Advertiser, (Jul. 20,1967), n.p. See also, Fig. 18, where Shadbolt and Baker are discussing Baker’s‘costume’. The reference to regalia and native dress as costume associatescontemporary ‘difference’ with theatre, storytelling, or fiction.44exhibition that featured contemporary speaking Indian subjects, who only toldtales of the past in a staged setting, and which focused on creating a curatorialhistory for an artist who died early in the 20th century, was that First Nationspeoples were not recognised authorities of their own culture and history. Inother words, when aboriginal life (past and present) was related by the experts, itwas culture and history; when Native peoples spoke, it was legend, myth andstory. When B.C. Hydro advertiser, The Buzzer, advertised the exhibit and someof its programmes, it referred to Salish Chief Simon Baker and Dorothy Francis!program at the VAG with a cartoon of a chief in the ‘Tribal Legend Corner’ whoscared the audience with ‘supernatural’ tales. In contrast, the text below thecartoon, advertised the exhibit as “honour[ing] the one hundredth anniversaryof Canadian Confederation . . . and the important Native cultural heritage of[the] province”. However, accepted attitudes toward contemporary Native peoplein contrast to the honourable place the “past Native cultural heritage” of BritishColumbia held, is painfully reinforced where on the last page appears a ‘joke’about a cute Indian waitress and a buck (Fig. 20).SummaryThe above discussion of the VAG’s attempt43 to make a significant contributionto the shift from ethnology to art has not been an argument for the appropriationand transference of First Nations material culture into a fixed centre. Rather, I43”Attempt” because the question of what constitutes “Indian” art was a questionthat was raised at the 1978 National Native Artists’ Conference and which remainsto some degree today. Regarding “Indian art”, Aaron Milrad a lawyer and boardmember of the Art Gallery of Ontario stated at the Conference in 1978: “The ArtGallery of Ontario has made a specific determination that they will not collectIndian or Inuit art as ethnological art. Ethnological art does not belong in an artmuseum... .It has been the policy of the National Gallery to allow the Museum ofMan to look after indigenous art and the National Gallery to look after the rest ofthe art fields... .1 think representation should be made to transfer some of the fineartistic works from the Museum of Man to the National Gallery... .it is really up to[Native people] to do something about it”. Bunny Sicard, “Lack of Native Art in ArtGallery of Ontario,” The Native Perspective (vol. 3, No. 2, 1978), 79. The NationalGallery held and exhibit of works by artists of Native artistry, entitled, “LandSpirit Power” in the Summer of 1992.45have attempted to anthropologise the way in which the Arts of the Ravenexhibit manifested the reproduction and consumption of the west’s owndiscourses of difference. While recognizing that interest in the Northwest CoastIndian is at once complex, subjective, historical, individual and institutional,and cannot be reduced to any one perspective, I believe that one of the purposesthat Masterworks by the Northwest Coast Indian served was to create a space forthose who sought an established place for themselves and the galleries,museums and collections that they represented. While western institutions andpractice are not monoliths that have the power to erase or reconstitute FirstNations peoples at will, in the intertextual or interdisciplinary shift of onewestern discipline to another, the exhibit organisers had to deal with theclassification “Indian”, which was already fettered with meanings from thedisciplines of archaeology, anthropology, ethnology and law, as well as the publicsphere./46CHAPTER TWOThe Nationalised IndianEquality and human rights had become central issues for the Canadiangovernment in the 1950s and the 1960s, and were formally addressed inParliament due to public concern at regional, national and international levels.The Conservative government played a leading role in condemning SouthAfrica’s apartheid policy in 1959. For Aboriginal people in Canada, the decade ofthe sixties began with legislation, ratified on January 8, 1960, which gave status orregistered Indians the right to vote federally for the first time. This legislationostensibly changed First Nations Peoples’ position in society to citizens whowould have equal opportunity to ‘integrate’ into Canadian society. Thislegislation evolved out of a long history of pressure at regional and nationallevels from public interest groups, such as, The Indian and Eskimo Associationof Canada (TEA),44 and from some First Nations leaders, particularly those fromBritish Columbia, who had not yet established treaties with the federal orprovincial governments.45 While the federal vote would ostensibly provide44Although there were a few native peoples on the executive, lEA was a mostlynon-Native, Toronto-based support group that emerged out of the CanadianAssociation for Adult Education. lEA was responsible for the most systematicpublic efforts to foster research and produce information on Indians in thesixties. Although lEA initially played an important and supportive role to FirstNations provincial organizations and to the “Indian cause”, its interests were notnecessarily those of First Nations leaders and their constituents. lEA was urged toplay a •supportive role after 1969, rather than a spokesperson-role (Weaver 1981,12, 18, 42, 43).45See, The Native Voice (Vancouver). From its first issue in 1946 through to the latesixties the journal was used as a vehicle to express the socio-political concerns ofFirst Nations leaders as they were related to the land question and the right to self-determination. See especially, “The Indians Act and The Indian Act” Dec. 1946, 1, 7which discusses the disparity between Canada as a democratic state and the conditionsunder which First Nations peoples lived, and the need to revise the Indian Act, aiid“Ottawa Hearing Lifts ‘Iron Curtain” by Leonora McNeilly, Toronto Saturday Night,Feb. 21, 1948 in The Native Voice, (Mar. 1948), 5 for a discussion concerning theshocking living conditions on reserves. Infant mortality was 132 per 1000 vs. 49 per1000 for Canadians; tuberculosis mortality was 5,792 per 100,000 vs. 42.2 per 100,000for Canadians. The article also discusses the “backwardness” of the Indian, comparing47registered Indians with equal opportunity and access to democratic process, it alsoprovided the Canadian government with an ideal (abstract) internationalprofile46 in terms of law and policy that did not exist in fact.In.the 1960s, the images and meanings that the term Indian called up wereframed, to some degree, within the reassessment of the historical relationshipbetween Canada and aboriginal peoples. In an era where issues of equality andIndians who have not “adapted” (about 140,000 living on reserves) with Indians whohave: Dr. Oronhyatekha (Oxford graduate), Pauline Johnson (Poet), Brigadier OliverMartin (Police Magistrate), Dr. Elmer Jamiseson (Head of Dept. of Physics), ChiefOskenonton, a singer who has performed in all the art centre of Europe, all of whom“point to the Indian’s successful competition with the white man given equalopportunities”. “Indians and the Vote” July 1948, 2, 15, 16 is an overview ofdiscussions by the joint committee of the Senate and the House of Commons as towhether the Indians should be given the vote. The discussion revolves around theultimate goal of assimilation for different kinds of Indians who the committeeidentified as being at various stages of “civilization”. “Lend us your Vote” Feb. 1949, 10is a discussion of the federal vote and social services, and the fact that there was noFirst Nations representation on the Joint Committee. “B.C. Indians of Today” June 1949,16 discusses the differences in the concerns of all the “different” Indians in theprovince, and the above stated issues. “Native Unite” July 1949, 4 discusses treaty andnon-treaty Indians and the treaty Indians’ concern that they would lose their specialrights by accepting the same position of citizenship of other Canadians. This articlecalls for Indians to unify as other oppressed people all over the globe have in orderto throw off “their shackles”. It also advises First Nations in each province to handletheir own affairs so as not to impede non-treaty Nations’ struggle’s for Canadianequality. “History of Fight for Indian Land” Feb. 1959, 4,5 is a detailed discussion ofprovincial/federal government’s legal responsibility to honour aboriginal title.“Native Indians Granted Full Citizen ship Rights,” (Special Edition). Feb. 1960, 1+. Thisarticle discusses the history of securing the vote but is not as comprehensive as thearticles in preceding years.461n a speech to the House of Commons, by Prime Minister John 6. Diefenbakerstated that,[W}herever I went last year on the occasion of my trip to the Commonwealthcountries, it was brought to my attention that in Canada the original peoplewithin our country, excepting for a qualified class, were denied the right tovote. I saw that so far as this long overdue measure is concerned, it willremove everywhere in the world any suggestion that colour or race placesany citizen in our country in a lower category than the other citizens of ourcountry (House of Commons, January 18, 1960, qtd. in “Native Indians GrantedFull Citizenship Rights,” Special Edition. The Native Voice, February, 1960, 1;emphasis mine).That same year at the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Canadiangovernment adopted “A Declaration on the Granting of Independence to ColonialCountries and Peoples” which recognized the “necessity of bringing to a speedy andunconditional end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations” Within thiscontext, it is of note that the Indian vote was put forward as a racial issue, ratherthan one of colonialism, which would have been a national and international issue,addressed through law (as aboriginal title eventually was).48human rights had centre stage, the IndianH entered into public consciousnessthrough a chorus of increasing criticism of government policy by public interestgroups that compared Indian Reserves47 with ‘ghettos and segregation’. The“Indian”, as a sign of the failure of Canada’s democratic process, and/or theobject of social or philanthropic concern, meant that issues defined by FirstNations which they had been attempting to address for years, finally receivedsome attention during the “rediscovery of the Indian” period, which wassponsored primarily through funding from the federal government, universitiesand foundations. Comparisons, for example, which compared Indian Reserveswith ghettos, were informed and stimulated by civil rights and anti-povertymovements in the United States; however this interest also provided FirstNations and Metis leaders with a limited platform for the “Indian cause,” as didthe emerging nationalism of third-world countries.However, it is important to note that although there was wide publicinterest in “the Indian”, there was little substantive published information onNative peoples in general, either nationally or provincially.48Media coverage of,and public interest in First Nations peoples was therefore largely uninformed. Inthis historical context, and in a period when technology and education werereceiving so much public attention, an exhibit such as Arts of the Raven wouldplay an important role in filling the knowledge gap about “Indians”. Thepositions taken by the curators, as individuals who were identified as authoritiesof Northwest Coast culture, would hold much weight regarding the past andcontemporary histories of Northwest Coast first nations peoples.47lndian Reserves are commonly referred to as “reserves”, and will be referred toas such throughout the thesis, both in my own text and in many of the quotes.48[Nationally] relevant data by government personnel] and academics on Indianswere almost non-existent (Weaver 1976, 18, 53-55). Commenting on the provincialsituation, Paul Tennant notes, “from 1890-1960, Indians were of little concern towhites. Non-native politicians were poorly informed about Indians. Until afterWW II, in British Columbia, racial fears and anxieties were focused on the Chineseand Japanese” (Tennant 1990, 74).49The images of “the Indian” in the 1960s, and the meanings they called up,were different than those that had currency after World War II, when registeredIndians were legally designated “non-persons”, and as wards of the federalgovernment were not entitled to vote. Many First Nations at the time, especiallyin British Columbia, expressed their concern about their human rights on theplatform of “No taxation without representation”--a quote from the U.S.revolution.49 For example, in 1946 the Native Voice newspaper (Vancouver,B.C.)5°referred to First Nations peoples “prisoners in their own homeland”, andCanada as a country that “enslaved” the First Canadians under the guise ofdemocracy and freedom (Fig. 21), in reference to the fact that Native people didnot yet have the vote (December 1946, 1). In response to public interest in“Canada’s Indians”, the 1947 Joint Committee of the Senate and House ofCommons was appointed to act on a “new deal” for the Indian through revisionsto the Indian Act. While First Nations leaders voiced their concerns before the1947 Joint Committee, it was the anthropologists’ recommendations “forprograms of forced assimilation” that gained the most receptive hearing by theparliamentarians (Dyck and Waidram 1993, 9). In fact, few First Nations leaders’concerns regarding education, taxation, social services and laws pertaining to theIndian Act51 were addressed then or after Indians were granted the provincialvote in 1949, or the federal vote in 1960 (Fig.s 22 & 23).49This platform was referred to by some parliamentarians as a concern of the“more cultured Indians who will be paying most of the tax, because in ordinarycircumstances the more cultured among them have higher incomes” (The NativeVoice July 1948, 2, 15, 16). Since all First Nations paid tax except for income onreserve land--where there was little economic development, and thus few wagesto pay tax on--those who were considered the “more cultured Indians”, who paid“most of the tax”, would have secured their income off-reserve. Thus being “morecultured” meant being in a higher income bracket, and being more like EuroCanadians.50The only First Nations newspaper in Canada and British Columbia at the time.One of the first Native newspapers on the West Coast, entitled Hagaga, waspublished in 1891 by the Nisga’a. It was used for discussing the Land Question.50While Native leaders continued to seek legal recognition for existing treatyrights, the right to self-determination and aboriginal title as a means to addresstheir social conditions, the elected Liberal government in 1967 determined toaddress the symptom of colonialism--Indian poverty--through federallydeveloped and managed economic development projects and social welfareprograms. At the same time, the federal government recognised Native cultureas part of a larger strategy to focus on culture as the means for creating a federalistideology that both contained and encouraged regional diversity. This federalstrategy would stress allegiances both to particular regions and to the federalstate. In an unpublished paper, “The Shadow of Bureaucracy: Culture in IndianAffairs”, Serge Bouchard and Ignatius E. La Rusic discuss how, in 1964, theDepartment of Indian Affairs (DIA) adopted the concept of using “Indiancultures” in the development of their programmes. DIA’s position was thatan Indian who has a firm base in his own culture, and who has been giventhe opportunity to acquire a solid understanding of the traditions andvalues of that culture, is much more willing to participate in a largersociety (1981,3,4).The catch was that “Indian culture” was never clearly defined when it was tackedonto a federal programme. According to Bouchard and La Rusic, the presentationof Indian cultures as “local colour. . . tradition or folklore. . . [provided a way forDIA to side-step] any connection between the notion of culture and a politicalidentity” (Ibid.). For example, in the booklet, Canada’s Indians and theCentennial: A Guide to Indian Events in 1967 (Fig. 24 & 25), the image of anIndian child signifies the historical relationship between the paternalisticgovernment and its “childlike ward”: the big doll-like eyes, buckskin dress,5 1 discussions about including the Indians under the Hospital InsuranceAct were instituted in 1949, issues concerning education did not begin to be addresseduntil the 1950s. Public schools were not open to Indians until after they were grantedthe federal vote in 1960. For a discussion of First Nations and the public schoolsystem, see Jean Barman, Yvonne Hebert, and Don McCaskill. Indian Education inCanada. Volume One: The Legacy (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1987).51headband and feather call up curio images commonly used as promotion fortourism and other purposes. The use of the most salient features of being Indianinside the catalogue--drum, tee-pee, birch bark canoe, Plains head-dress and aMohawk hairdo--completes the cultural image of Canada’s (singular) Indian,predominantly represented as a child who is in need of care and governmentintervention. Inside the cover, Indian cultural projects ranged from “artgalleries, museums and monuments” built through the cooperation of “Indianpeople with the Centennial Commission”, to projects that focused on the richheritage of Indian customs, legends, stories, songs and dances. . . emphasis[ing]the indispensable contribution that Canada’s Indians made in helping build thenation “(Fig. 24). Implicit in the booklet’s theme of a childlike subject and Indianculture is a depoliticised and dependent subject, whose “successful integration”into Canadian culture is signaled through the adoption and support of Euro-Canadian cultural edifices.In the 1960s, the image of the “Indian” as a shifting sign, was produced inthe media as, at once, economically impoverished and as part of Canada’s richcultural heritage. Within the context of public concern about equality, vis-à-visthe ‘War on Poverty’, the Arts of the Raven exhibit’s representation of therichness of Northwest Coast Indian culture defined in western terms could beseen as a strategy to elevate the image of the Northwest Coast Indian, and to elicita more favorable social response by the public toward Native peoples. However,the limitations of the Arts of the Raven exhibit’s construction of a depoliticisedsubject and culture as a strategy for change, raises the question, who had agencyin defining the Northwest coast Indian identity represented in the exhibit? In anewspaper editorial columnist Jack Wasserman noted that on the opening nightof the exhibit “nobody thought to ask any of the descendants of the originalinhabitants who were involved to join the roster of speakers”; one Nativeleader, Guy Williams, responded to the omission with: “too many chiefs. No52Indians”.52 In fact, many Northwest Coast and Interior Native leaders weredeclaring a different reality for First Nations peoples in the place now calledBritish Columbia, which existed outside the bounds of the so-calleddisinterestedness of western class and taste, and government definitions ofIndians and their cultures. However, these leaders spoke their reality amidstmany and varied, and often contesting, Indian voices.Before discussing the situation these leaders sought to address in contrast tothe Indian” that the Raven exhibit organisers constructed, it is necessary tounderstand the complexity of what it meant to be (named) Indian. Such anunderstanding will frame the argument presented in Chapter Four, which dealsprimarily with Northwest Coast Native peoples (whose cultures wererepresented in the Arts of the Raven exhibit) and their elected leaders, most ofwhom lived on a reserve, were status (registered) Indians who had not yetestablished aboriginal title through treaty negotiation with the provincial andfederal governments. These peoples, however, had a different position both inrelation to aboriginal people not considered Indians within the meaning of theIndian Act, and in relation to First Nations who had established treaties with theCanadian government.The Indian Act, its Indians and aboriginal titleThe following discussion considers what being identified as Indian, oridentifying things as Indian, might have meant when the Raven exhibit wasproduced, in terms of existing legal and social definitions and the way in whichFirst Nations people defined themselves. The premise for this discussion is thatall groups or individuals legally and/or socially recognised as “Indians” wereimplicated as referents in the Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the NorthwestCoast Indian (emphasis mine). As such, it provides a context for some of the52The Vancouver Sun. n.d., n.p. VAG Archives, Box A-102.53historic, social and political forces that may have molded the consciousness ofthose who produced and/or participated in the Arts of the Raven exhibit ascurators, designers, contributing artists, its audience and those who ratified it as alegitimate project--or not. At the same time, I acknowledge that diverse Nationsof aboriginal peoples cannot be contained or explained solely in relation to thepolitical and social corollaries that the term “Indian” might impose.As the legislative vehicle for administering Indians and Indian lands, theIndian Act defined the parameters of those who could be legally defined andrecognised by the Canadian Government as “Indians”. From its inception as the1850 Land Act and the 1857 and 1859 Civilization and Enfranchisement Act, theIndian Act’s central purpose has been--ostensibly--to “protect” Indian lands.53This it did, by creating Indian Reserves and limiting their occupation to onlythose who could trace descent through a patrilineal line to 1874. Federallyimposed forms of governance for reserves were created as “Indian bands” with amunicipal style “chief (mayor) and council”. In British Columbia, IndianReserves and Band Administrations, by and large, were set up within FirstNations’ traditional territory. According to Paul Tennant, professor of politicalscience at the University of British Columbia, this facilitated the continuance oftraditional forms of governance within an imposed federal one, and the ongoing commitment of Native leaders’ to protecting traditional lands, of whichthe government-legislated “Indian Reserve” was only a part (1990, 9, 26-29, 71).An “Indian” within the meaning of the Indian Act was and still is a legalentity registered with and defined by the state in terms of race, blood quantumand, until 1985, only through legitimate male lineage.54 The legal designation53The Historical Development of the Indian Act. Policy, Planning and ResearchBranch, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, January 1975.54See Janet Silman, Enough is Enough: Aboriginal Women Speak Out, (Toronto:Women’s Press, 1987). Several aboriginal women recount how they challenged theIndian Act, which defined Indians in terms of their relationship to “a male personwho is a direct descendent in the male line of a male person”. This law stripped54(which included being defined as “non-persons”) had to do with governmentofficials’ belief that all aboriginal people would eventually assimilate into Euro-Canadian society. In the 1960s, issues of race in relation to Indians called upwords such as ghettos and segregation, which in the U.S. context had created lawsand policies designed to keep African Americans separate. In contrast, in Canada,the official federal policy for the Indian was assimilation. This goal required firstlegislating legal terms to identify Indians as separate and apart in order toassimilate them through the process of “enfranchisement”.The legal process of enfranchisement meant that an Indian would“surrender his (sic) special legal status as an Indian and join the Canadiancommunity at large. ... [and] not be an Indian within the meaning of this Act”(Cumming and Mickenberg 1980, 7). However, the legal equality thatenfranchisement guaranteed did not often ensue in fact. Most Native peoplewho became enfranchised were still visually identifiable as aboriginal peoples,and thus faced racial discrimination in public establishments and institutions.Furthermore, without registered status, they did not figure into thegovernment’s public concern for the Indian, nor were they recognised as legalactors in the yet-to-be-addressed land question in British Columbia.55women of Indian status if they married other non-status Indians or non-Indians.On the other hand if a non-native woman married an Indian man she became astatus Indian. In 1985 Bill C-31 was tabled with amendments on May 6 andfinalized in June of 1985, giving status back to anyone who had lost it for anyreason. Bands were also given the right for the first time to determine their ownmembership, with the exception of reinstating former members.55Two examples of contrasting positions to the federal government’s are those ofthe Nisga’a and the Haida. The Nisga’a Tribal Council stated in 1976 that it “does notrecognize the artificial barriers of the Indian Act between status and non-statusIndians. There are no non-status Nis[ga’a]” Citizens Plus: The Nishga people of theNaas River in Northwestern British Columbia (New Aiyansh: Nishga TribalCouncil, 1976) 3. A more recent booklet refers to the Nisga’a population at specificlocations within their traditional territory and adds, “Another 3,500 liveelsewhere in Canada and around the world”. Nisga’a: People of the mighty river(New Aiyanch: Nisga’a Tribal Council, 1992), N. pag. In Article II, S.2 of the HaidaConstitution it states that, “All people of Haida Ancestry are citizens of the HaidaNation” (1987). However, the reality is even status Indians living off reserve arenot legally entitled to vote for Band Councils, and they do not have the access tofunding• for education and other aboriginal rights that persons residing on-55Treaties between the Government of Canada and First Nations have alwaysbeen based upon recognition of “aboriginal title” as evident by the First Nationssignatories on existing treaties.56 The origin and recognition of aboriginal titledates back to the early acknowledgment by colonising countries that aboriginalpeoples “had institutions of their own and governed themselves by their ownlaws”.57 In Canada, aboriginal land ownership and authority was set out in theRoyal Proclamation of 1763, and recognised by the Crown as continuing underBritish sovereignty. While the courts have had to consider, in particular cases,whether or not title was taken away,58 the “original use and occupation of theland has always been the legal foundation for the assertion of Native claims inCanada today” (Berger 1981, 56; emphasis added)”. Partly on the basis of this legalpremise, Native leaders in the place now called British Columbia began anreserve do. Non-status Indians and Metis are not legally entitled to any treatyrights. See, Art is Never a Given: Professional Training in the Arts in CanadaReport of the Task Force on Professional Training for the Cultural Sector inCanada (Minster of Supply and Services Canada, 1991), 98.56”Aboriginal rights” are derived from First Nations peoples’ original possessionof lands in what is now called North America. Cumming and Mickenberg describeU.S. Chief Justice Marshall’s assignment of aboriginal title early in the 19thcentury, which forms the basis of the common law theory of aboriginal rights bythe U.S. and by Canadian courts. They state, “an aboriginal claim was a legallyrecognized right to occupy those lands held by Indians from time immemorial. Ondiscovery, the legal title or fee to the newly claimed land went to the discoveringState, subject to this aboriginal right of occupancy. The Indians’ property rightwas further limited in that alienation could be made solely to the State or Crown.The Indian title could be destroyed (extinguished) by either conquest (cession) orby purchase”(1970, 21). These rights exist whether aboriginal peoples have beencategorized as status or non-status Indians, (Eskimo) Inuit, or Metis--that is, theyare not defined by the Indian Act. It is the recognition that Canadian and Englishlaw and policy have given to the principle that native people have a right toretain possession or be compensated for the loss of their aboriginally held land,which underlies and explains the complex legal theory of aboriginal rights (1970,3).57Chief Justice Marshall. Johnson v. McIntosh (1823) 21 U.S. 543 qtd. in Thomas R.Berger, “Wilson Duff and Native Land Claims,” The World is as Sharp as a Knife: AnAnthology in Honour of Wilson Duff (Victoria: Morris Printing, 1981), 56.58Although “extinguishment” by “conquest or purchase” severely limited thestrength of claim to aboriginal title, [Chief Justice] Marshall reasoned that “theAmerican Indian was savage and warlike. As such, the normal principles ofinternational law whereby property rights in the acquired nation are respectedsimply could not apply” (Cummings and Mickenberg 1970), 18.56organised fight for recognition of aboriginal title, circa 1870, through treatynegotiations. At this time, the colonial government adopted and officiallyannounced the policy for denying aboriginal title and seizing all territories forBritish Columbia without treaty or compensation.59 However, by 1967 notreaties had yet been signed,6°and neither the British Columbia nor Canadiangovernments recognised aboriginal title or First Nations right to self-government. The lack of a clear understanding as to what aboriginal title andrights were, is explained in part by lawyer and Native rights advocate, ThomasBerger:Our profession has too often demonstrated an incapacity to understandthe fact that the native peoples had well-defined and sophisticatedconcepts of legal relations and legal rights.. . judges and lawyers simplycould not appreciate the fact that people without a written language may,nevertheless, have well-developed legal concepts.6159See, The Native Voice (Feb. 1959), 4, 5 for a detailed discussion ofprovincial/federal government’s legal responsibility to honour aboriginal title,and the historical development of aboriginal rights and title in British Columbia.60Neither had any treaties been established with First Nations of Quebec, theMaritime, the Yukon, and parts of the Northwest Territories at this time. As ofDecember, 1990, “A Task Force was created ...by an agreement betweenrepresentative of First Nations in British Columbia, the Government of BritishColumbia and the Government of Canada.. .We are convinced that the process mustbe open, fair and voluntary. The result of the negotiations must be set down inmodern treaties, the blueprints for a new relationship” (First Nations SummitMemo to: All Tribal Councils [Leaders and Representatives], Independent BandCouncils. July 22, 1993).6156, 63. Although the Supreme Court of Canada found that the Nisga’a heldaboriginal title, they disagreed on whether title had been extinguished between1858 when the mainland Colony of British Columbia was established andConfederation in 1871, or whether title was still good at the time of the decision.See Thomas R. Berger, “Wilson Duff and Native Land Claims,” in The World is asSharp as a Knife, (Victoria: Morris Printing, 1981). For a discussion of the Nisga’adispute, see also Nisga’a: People of the mighty River (New Aiyansh: Nisga’a TribalCouncil, 1992), N. pag.57In fact, Canada’s highest court did not affirm the concept of aboriginal title until1973 in the Nisg.a’a case of Calder v. Attorney-General of B.C. 62It is important to note that the platform of aboriginal title was not accessibleto all people of aboriginal ancestry. Enfranchised individuals, their non-statusdescendants or other Native people who did not meet government criteria forrecognition of Indian status, did not have the venue, as did status First Nationsleaders, to speak on issues of education, renewable resources, local government,law and order, and delivery of health and social services.63 Metis writer,Howard Adams, describes the effects of being legally defined “mixed blood” inPrison of Grass: Canada From a Native Point of View (1975):As Metis people we did not have a choice as to whether we would beIndians, whites or in between. The dominant society defined us as adistinct subordinated racial minority. The implication of “Metis” is that asnative people we live half in the white world and half in the Indianworld. Most of us live largely in an obscure marginal native society (7).64“Mixed bloods”, were not only categorised as Metis. “Nomad” was the term usedfor mixed blood Inuit (Eskimo), or Indians who lived in the Northwest or Yukonterritories. Nomads, like the Metis and other non-status Indians, were notconsidered Indians within the meaning of the Indian Act. (One wonders whatthey would have been called if they left the borders of the Northwest62As of 1982 treaties and aboriginal rights are protected under Section 35 of theConstitution Act. See, Anonymous, The Report of the British Columbia Claims TaskForce (1993), 17.63Many of these social and political rights are inherent aboriginal rights, someare defined as “special rights” within the Indian Act and as established rightsdefined through treaties between the federal government and other First Nations.64 The Metis are defined in Section 12 of the Indian Act as any person whoreceived money scrip or half-breed lands as an alternative to treaty rights; thissection specifically refers to the Metis in the Prairie provinces. Although manyindividuals who claim First Nations ancestry are excluded from the Act, the Actcannot affect a person’s status as an Indian under the terms of the British NorthAmerica Act (Cumming and Mickenberg 2nd ed., 1980), 6, 7. See also: Bruce Sealy.The Metis: Canada’s Forgotten People, (Winnipeg: Manitoba Metis Federation,1975).58Territories?) Historically, registered Inuit were not subject to the provisions ofthe Indian Act until 1939 when the Supreme Court of Canada held that the Inuitwere “Indians”, and as such, were the responsibility of the federal government.65Interestingly, “Eskimo” art would be unproblematically exhibited as“masterworks” at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1972,66 around the time thatcomplex problems were being addressed concerning the legal definition andidentification of Eskimo status, in relation to the Alaskan land claims settlement,and the legal protection of Inuit arts and crafts.67From these various communities and circumstances, many Native peoplesmoved to cities such as Vancouver. As in many other cities in Canada, socialreserves emerged, whose adumbrated boundaries were circumscribed byignorance, racism, fear and the hubristic assumptions of Euro-Canadian ideology.The existence of these unofficial reserves were denied under the guise of asupposed equality for all of those who made up Canada’s “multi-culturalmosaic”. Yet, as Howard Adams points out in his autobiographical sketch ofMetis life in Canada (as do many other accounts),68 many citizens of aboriginal65See Derek G. Smith, “The Emergence of ‘Eskimo Status’: An Examination of theEskimo Disk List System and Its Social Consequences, 1925-1970,” Anthropology,Public Policy, and Native Peoples in Canada, (McGill-Queen’s University Press,1993) 64. Smith discusses the state identification system for Inuit peoples whichwas devised initially to facilitate medical records, but rapidly became acomprehensive administrative system.66Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic (Nov. 10-Dec. 12,Vancouver Art Gallery, 1972) As the first comprehensive presentation of InuitArt, it included 405 works by 117 artist from “prehistoric” to present times. Theexhibit was curated by Doris Shadbolt in collaboration with George Swinton, JamesHouston and Barbara Tyler. Like the Arts of the Raven exhibit, it was the curators’intention “to establish the high quality of this art among other art forms of theworld and to demonstrate the quality which distinguishes the finest Eskimocarving from the vast production of souvenirs and craft items”. See DorisShadbolt in Vancouver: Art and Artists, 1931 - 1983, (Exhibition Catalogue Oct. 15 -Dec. 31, 1983), 338.67Ibid68There are countless resource materials based on ethnological studies, personaland historical narratives, documentaries, photo-histories, and so on that dealwith the effects of colonialism on Native peoples. Two that deal with the late59ancestry had been shut out explicitly and implicitly from participating in a capitaleconomy, from entering the public education system, or from entering publicestablishments and institutions, such as museums and galleries. In the“Summary and Conclusions” of a national survey prepared for DIA in 1967entitled, Indians and the Law, the authors concluded that:Underlying all problems associated with Indians and Eskimos in thiscountry are the prejudice and discrimination they meet in the attitude ofnon-Indians.. .. Few non-Indians would admit to feelings of prejudiceagainst the Indian and Eskimo people because such views are no longeracceptable, but the facade of tolerance often vanishes when problems arise(emphasis added).69The Diaspora of First Nations peoples created through the Department of IndianAffairs administration policies, Indian enfranchisement and other programs for‘assimilation’ was such that by the 1960s, a multiplicity of aboriginal peopleswith complex, layered histories formed heterogeneous and diverse groups. Somewere status and non-status, treaty and non-treaty, living on and off reserve inrural and urban communities. Some commuted between the two--as did theRaven exhibit artists, Henry Hunt, Tony Hunt and Robert Davidson. Whilemany First Nations people remained on reserve, others chose enfranchisement,believing it was the only possible way to live a decent life--as did DorothyFrancis, one of the exhibit “storytellers”. Yet she, like many others, continued toidentify herself in relation to her traditional territories and cultures. Some otherschose to integrate as fully as possible in “modern” Canadian society;70 still othersdid not self-consciously choose their place in society, but were born and raisedsixties and early seventies are First Nations leader and activist, Harold Cardinal’sbook, The Unjust Society: The Tragedy of Canada’s Indians, (Edmonton: M.G. Hurtig,1969), and Heather Robertson’s, Reservations Are For Indians, (Toronto: JamesLewis & Samuel, 1970).69Canadian Corrections Association, Indians and the Law, (Ottawa: Queen’s Printer,1967), 55.70Some historical analyses of Native politics draw a distinction between non-status Indians who sought aboriginal rights and equality with non-natives, andregistered Indians who sought human rights and ‘special status’ in relation to theland question.60within the unquestioned centricity of Euro-Canadian ideology and its liberalvalues.71 This was the circumstance of Raven exhibit artist and curator, BillReid.Out of these existing groups, contemporary organisations were formed toaddress various concerns. For example in 1961, the National Indian Council wasformed from a mostly urban membership of aboriginal peoples, through whichit was hoped all Indians would be able to address their concerns and positions tothe federal government. However, despite the government’s goals for unity--andinitiatives by First Nations people to unite themselves--the social effects ofinstitutionally imposed distinctions and aboriginal peoples’ diverse backgroundsmade such a goal an unrealistic task. The National Indian Council was disbandedin 1968 because of strains between status and non-status interests, treaty and non-treaty (including Metis), and questions regarding the ability of the organisation torepresent First Nations peoples on reserves and in rural areas. First Nationsleader George Manuel, maintained that despite its problems, the National Indian71The following is an excerpt, from the British Columbia Indian AdvisoryNewsletter in 1963. The newspaper was designed to encourage communicationbetween Native in B.C. and the provincial government. While a few of the articlesin the paper are identified as written by First Nations representatives, mostarticles are unsigned.[‘Indians do nothing but drink and live off welfare’] is an old story oftenrepeated.. .Because such false ideas are so common it is worthwhile for theIndian himself to know the other side of the story so that he can developpride in the accomplishments of his peoples. Most Indians in this provincedo no fit this picture and many are outstanding citizens whosecontributions to life in the province in are as great as those of anyone else.Consider [so and so] the president of the integrated Princess Royal SchoolParent Teachers Association.. .member of the Nanaimo Council of Womenand the District Safety Council. Her daughters...were the first Indian girlsfrom Western Canada to be honoured as debutantes (for those of you whoare a bit confused about “high society”, this means that they were“presented” at the annual Navy League dance at Nanaimo where they wereintroduced to the Lieutenant-Governor. The tribal customs of whites are notalways easy to explain or understand but this honour is a bit like receivingan important name at a potlatch” (Anonymous, Jan. 2, 1963).This comparison sets up a binary opposition between an Indian stereotype and anIndian citizen’s participation in Canadian cultural life--the point of reference for‘pride in one’s accomplishments’ being Euro-Canadian traditions and values. The“patronizing” reference to the “tribal customs of whites” presumes that allcultures are mutually translatable.61Council served to bring First Nations leaders together from across the country,and within the provinces to discover their common interests. Clearly there wasnot a “unified” singular Indian political position, however, a shared resistance tothe colonialism of the Canadian government was gaining momentum in thepublic sphere.72It must be noted that the following discussion of the way in which FirstNations leaders represented their own cultures and their people as it isjuxtaposed against the curatorial premise of the Raven exhibit organisers’interpretations of Northwest Coast aboriginal culture, will be limited to aparticular group of First Nations peoples and a particular political position. Asdiscussed in Chapter One, the image the organisers of the Masterworks by theNorthwest Coast Indian exhibit were attempting to produce was of an individualIndian more concerned with the aesthetics of “his” work than its socio-politicalsignificance. At the same time, curator and anthropologist Wilson Duff, wrote inthe exhibit catalogue that “the old Indian cultures [were] dead”, meaning, ofcourse, that the original socio-political, and spiritual significance of the crests andimages no longer existed. Yet Duff played a central role as an “expert” witness inconfirming the cultural legitimacy of the Nisga’a aboriginal title to traditionalNisga’a lands, which was affirmed in the Supreme Court of Canada in 1973.Thomas Berger asserted that it was “Duff’s evidence that linked the past to thepresent”, and which most influenced the decision of Mr Justice Hall whoconcluded:The Nishgas in fact are and were from time immemorial a distinctivecultural entity with concepts of ownership indigenous to their culture andcapable of articulation under the common law, having in the words of Dr.Duff, ‘developed their culture to higher peaks in many respects than inany other part of the continent North of Mexico’ (Berger 1981, 63).72See: Manuel and Posluns 1974, 167; and Cardinal 1969, 109-111.62Yet just two years after the landmark decision, Duff, as an expert consultantto an art exhibit, asserted that contemporary Indians in British Columbia did notknow the meanings of their cultural heritage. In the exhibition catalogue forImages: Stone: B.C.(1975), a “prehistoric stone sculpture” exhibit held at the ArtGallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia (where former VAG Director,Richard Simmins was now the director), Duff stated that the meanings of thestone images, including those collected in Nisga’a territory were “not known bythe present generation of Indian people” (1975, 178-185).73 Through this positionon the stones’ meanings--which the Nisga’a and Tsimshian people assert havebeen preserved through their oral histories--Duff revealed the interested natureof his work by reinforcing the authority of western science and his expertise as anarchaeologist and anthropologist:[W]e do not have any way of knowing what the stone sculptures really‘meant’ to their makers and users. We have not observed them in use, orknown anybody who has. Nor do the present generation of Indian people,their more rightful inheritors, have any better way of knowing theirdeeper meanings. The best we can do is make surmises, based upon whatwe know from archaeology, ethnography, and mythology, upon parallelswith other objects of better known use and meaning, and upon our ownperceptions of the images themselves . . . the only certain area of overlap isthat which results from a sharing of the concerns of the human condition(Duff 1975, 14; emphasis added).Duff’s use of the comparative “more” in regard to ownership indicates thathe subscribed to the common view of that time that he and the publicinstitutions he represented were also “rightful owners” of the “stone sculptures”,previously defined as relics of Canada’s past, and British Columbia’s heritage.Yet, “[a]ccording to Anyyichl Nisga’a, every Nisga’a belongs to a wilp (House)which owns its songs, crests, dances, stories and territory handed down throughmatrilineal succession [emphasis added]”.74 As owners of both the objects and73ltems, 64, 68, 69, 99, 103, 104 of the Catalogue are identified as coming from theNass River, the traditional territory of the Nisga’a.63the “meanings” or oral histories related to the stone “sculptures”, the Nisga’awould not necessarily have shared that information with Duff. His assumptionthat if he could not access particular information, that it no longer existed, andthus could only be found through scientific discovery, reveals his lack of a trueunderstanding of what constituted aboriginal title to the Nisga’a. In fact, it wasthe authority of Nisga’a oral histories and traditional laws that were the impetusand premise upon which Calder and other Native leaders of territories claimedby British Columbia had fought for over a hundred years--albeit within theframework of Canadian jurisprudence and English common-law. While Duffwas prepared to argue for “aboriginal title and rights” of contemporary Indiansbased on British and Canadian law, he did not seem to recognise the authorityand strength of the Nisga’a’s arguments, which were based on culturalknowledge of their traditions, laws and territories.What, then, is the relationship between these two seemingly incongruouspositions taken by Duff? Quite simply, since the legal definition of aboriginal titleis based on the “original occupation and use of the land” by people who had“well-developed legal concepts” of ownership, Duff did not have to base histestimony on the contemporary knowledge of the Nisga’a. The authority ofDuff’s anthropological and archaeological knowledge of the Nisga’a origins orpast history was all that was required of him as an expert witness to establishaboriginal title. He was called on to establish that the Nisga’a had “developedtheir culture to higher peaks . . . than in any other part of the [Northern]continent”. In fact, Duff’s court testimony regarding the Nisga’a cultural historyas quoted in Berger (1981, 52-63) is all in the past tense.While many individuals--both Native and non-Native--have recognisedand honoured Duff for the work that he did on behalf of Native rights, thedangers of relying on western expertise to authorise cultural knowledge must74”Did you know,” NISGA’A: People of the mighty river, (New Aiyansh: Nisga’aTribal Council, 1992), N. pag.64also be noted. As anthropologists, Noel Dyck and James B. Waidram point out inthe text, Anthropology, public policy and native peoples in Canada:[R]epeated acts of cultural translation can transform aboriginal peoplesinto clients whose ability to represent their own interests is furtherundermined each time an anthropological advocate speaks on the theirbehalf (1993, 20).75Further, Dyck and Waldram appeal to anthropologists to weigh what is at stakebetween, ‘being asked to ‘act like an expert’ and the longer-term gains to beachieved by anthropologists through acknowledging and revealing the interestednature of all knowledge. . .“(1993, 22). The construction of supposedly “dead”cultures of the past, authorised in the present only through western expertise,begs the question: what is the relationship between the authority with which thetexts and images about First Nations Northwest Coast histories, culture andmaterial culture were produced in one kind of public institution--the Vancouverand Victoria art galleries, and the authority with which the same histories andcultures were represented in another public institution--the Supreme Court ofCanada?At the same time, it is important to realise the limitations of the abovediscussion. With all of the public debates in the sixties by Natives and non-Natives regarding the Indian, the Canadian government was not legallyobligated to deal with enfranchised individuals and their non-statusdescendants, and other Native peoples who did not meet government criteria forrecognition of Indian status. Some participants in the exhibit were not75Similarly, Bruce, G. Trigger argues well for the recognition of First Nationspeoples in his text, Natives and Newcomers: Canada’s ‘Heroic Age’ Reconsidered(McGill-Queens University Press, 1985). However, Trigger believes that “nativepeople have affirmed their lasting and important role as part of Canada’s culturalmosaic . . . . [with]in Canadian history. Further he argues that there has been achronic failure to recognize “native peoples as an integral part of Canadiansociety”(3,4). While Trigger is intent on giving First Nations a history, which heconfirms through anthropological and archaeologal findings, he does not seem torecognize that First Nations have their own histories as Nations.65considered Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act, these included BillReid (non-status), Lelooska (part Cherokee from the United States), DorothyFrancis (non-status through personal decision to become enfranchised). Mypurpose in discussing the state-imposed categories for the Indian and their socialcorollaries, as well as the way in which First Nations organised and representedthemselves, is to clearly demonstrate the complexity of who (or what)constituted an Indian in Canada in contrast to the seamless construction of theIndian in Arts of the Raven: Indian Art of the Northwest Coast. This provides acontext for how First Nations people as an audience may or may not haveresponded to the exhibit. It also contextualises the exhibit’s relative importancein the public sphere to what First Nations peoples were seeking to establish. TheArts of the Raven exhibit at once individualised and homogenised the diverseNorthwest Coast Nations by using a paradigm that did not account for thecomplex and intersecting histories of Euro-Canadian and Northwest CoastNations together, thus only recognising an individual master artist.Limited by the constraints of a formalist reading, the exhibit does notindicate how those intersecting histories led to an exhibit of Northwest materialculture as “Art” in a western institution for a mostly non-Native audience. Noris there a context for the consumption and production of the “masterpieces” atvarious historical moments, in either a First Nations context, or within westernhistoricising. However, this formal approach was consistent with the approachtaken to discuss other exhibits at the time.76 When curator/art historian/artistBill Holm interpreted the exhibit as a collection of masterworks that constitutedthe “survival of a few saved treasures and some aptitude and desire on the partof some of the descendants of the Indian masters” (Hoim, 196Th, 4), the diverse76Steven Harris points out that in the 1969 VAG exhibit, New York 13, diverse artforms were linked through formal similarities. For example, various art criticslinked artists’ works through colour and shape, before proceeding to the so-calledfigurative artists like Rauschenberg, Warhol and Segal (1985, 98, 99, Note 79).66and layered histories of the contemporary exhibiting artists were by-passed.Simply constructed as having an “aptitude and desire” to produce“masterworks” as their forebears did, Hoim asserted that the “[p]ieces by a fewliving and working artists tie[d] the exhibition to the present” (Ibid.). Thus, agiant leap from the past to the present was naturalised through the so-calledinnate and timeless artistic abilities of Northwest Coast Indian artists. In fact,Holm asserted earlier that Franz Boas’ statement about North American Indians,“perhaps the artists have greater eidetic power than most adults amongourselves’ (Boas, 1927, 158) may [have been] well-founded “ (Holm 1965, 69;emphasis mine).Consider also First Nations peoples as an audience for the Raven exhibitduring an era that gave rise to one commissioned inquiry after another of thesocio-economic plight of aboriginal peoples (Manuel and Posluns 1974, 162). Abrief submitted by DIA to the federal and provincial Conference on Poverty andOpportunity in Ottawa in December 1964 stated that the average life expectancy ofthe Indian was 33.31 years for females, and 34.71 for males. For Canadians, theaverage life expectancy was 64.1 for females and 60.5 for males. The average percapita salaries and wages for the Indian was $1,600.00 as opposed to $3, 500.00 forCanadians. In relation to VAG audiences at the time, Harris’, “Of Rauschenberg,Policy and Representation at the Vancouver Art Gallery”, reveals that museumpatrons with the lowest income and academic education had the most difficultywith museum structure, personnel and displays, and were those for whom amuseum visit provided the least satisfactory experience. Given the socioeconomic conditions for most Native people, an exhibit that opened as a ‘blacktie and champagne” affair would hardly be accessibly to most Northwest Coastpeople it supposedly represented--most of whom lived in rural communities.Nor would the elite image of the Northwest Coast Indian have much incommon with the non-status, Metis, “enfranchised Indians” and other urban67Native peoples who lived in the social ‘reserve& that emerged in Vancouver.Rather,. the exhibit instead set up a false ideal against which First Nations peoplescould be measured. What was validated through the exhibit was the institutionalacceptance of Indians as individuals and their cultural contributions within thebourgeois world of art and culture--a world in which few First Nations and Metiscould afford to circulate.It is, however, necessary to consider those First Nations peoples who tacitlyaccepted the centricity of Canadian society’s middle-class values. For example, in1969, in response to the critical living conditions for most First Nations peoples,H.A. Smitheram, a one-time active and leading member of the Indian-EskimoAssociation, and a non-status Native of Okanagan and English descent, formedthe British Columbia Association of Non-Status Indians (BCANSI). The mandateof BCANSI was not to seek recognition and revival of Indian culture, but rather:Our main purpose in organizing is to bring about the acceleration andupward social mobility of our people... [W]e must train [our people] inthe social skills that will make it easier for them to cope with their nonIndian friends of the middle class. . .. Music, painting ceramics, sculptureand creative writing, as well as Indian crafts, must be offered to our youngpeople (Tennant, 161).Clearly, there was a place where the exhibit intersected with the values of achanging--yet limited--group of First Nations peoples. For Smitheram and thosewho subscribed to BCANSI’s goals, it was the addition of middle class values,Euro-Canadian values in the Arts that would facilitate the upward mobility ofFirst Nations peoples, as it did for the Edenshaw lineage. This would result in an“equality” with other Canadians based on Euro-centric values. However, theadopticn of these values by some First Nations peoples must also be consideredin relation to the government’s many programs for assimilation or integration,at every level of institutional practice in Canada. Government programs oftenposed stereotypical images of contemporary Indians as poor, drunk, dirty, and/or68culturally impoverished, in contrast to the Indian who had successfullyintegrated by adopting Euro-Canadian values.Equality or AssimilationCanada’s posturing in the national and international arenas, and its nationalistgoals of equality and integration in the 1960s, were criticised as blindlyassimilationist by George Manuel, pre-eminent Native leader from the interiorof what is called British Columbia (Fig. 26). In Manuel’s book, The FourthWorld, a historical and autobiographical account of the “story of the CanadianIndian”, he writes:Aboriginal rights was too vague a term to be used as a basis for discussion.Treaties should be respected but were also regarded as an anomaly.Equality of opportunity was defined so that it was indistinguishable fromassimilation. Multi-culturalism was for European immigrants. Bilingualism for French/English relationship. And assimilation for Indianpeople (Manuel & Posluns, 1974, 169).Manuel’s position was that the federal government identified the socioeconomic and political problems raised by First Nations leaders as a “povertyproblem” (Manuel and Posluns, 182), rather than recognizing it as a symptom ofcolonialism. Poverty was not the problem. For the First Nations leaders inBritish Columbia who maintained that jurisdiction over their traditional landshad never been ceded through treaty, the problem was the lack of recognition ofFirst Nations’ authority over their land, resources and by extension, their owncultural system. Rather than address the issues of First Nations’ right todetermination, DIA created economic development programs to ‘assist’ theIndian in joining an upwardly mobile Euro-Canadian middle class. Manuelsummarised these processes this way:The symptoms remaining from one social disruption became an excusefor another social disruption [through which] . . . Indian culture isundermined (Manuel and Posluns, 1974, 183)69Yet according to DIA, as discussed above, it had begun to take “Indian cultures”into account in the development of federal programs. Bouchard and La Rusic (asdiscussed above) maintain that the only difference between earlier assimilationprograms, and the newly defined “integration” process, was: “throughintegration, one could justify the retention of certain tangible ‘authentic’ culturaltraits even if only by the process of incorporating them into the dominantsociety”( Bouchard & La Rusic, 1981, 6).Both the image of the Indian as impoverished, and the newly promotedimage as Indians-having-culture, had actual referents in fact. But as producedimages, they were managed through government bureaucracy and institutions,thereby masking the strength of First Nations’ self-defined histories, territoriesand laws, which included their cultures, and which were the impetus andpremise upon which First Nations in British Columbia sought legal recognitionof aboriginal title as discussed above in the Nisga’a case. Federalacknowledgment of self-defined Indian cultures linked to political identitieswould have exploded the Liberal government’s Canadian image of unity andequality. The premise for the promotion of federalist ideology through culturalprojects was based on the Liberal belief “that individual Indians both desired tobe and were entitled to be assimilated as equals into Canadian society” (Tennant1990, 139). This is also true of the earlier government and institutionallysponsored economic development projects for “Indian art” in British Columbiain the late 1940s and 1950s, which preceded its development as “Fine Art” in thesixties. (See Chapter Two) Given this context, the produced image of NorthwestCoast Indian cultures in the Arts of the Raven exhibit takes on new dimensions.Improved programs for Indians were implemented from 1963 to1967,7including provincial and national Indian Advisory Boards, which were77mese programs included: 1. Hawthorn Report 2. Community developmentprograms 3. Transfer of certain federal programs to provinces 4. Grants to Indianbands for self-administration 5. Indian Advisory Boards 6. Research on theadministration of justice to Indians 7. Experimental relocation programs (this70designed to collect information from Native peoples and improve DIA services.These programs were initiated because earlier programs resulting fromrecommendations made by the 1961 Joint Committee of the Senate and theHouse of Commons “to speed up assimilation” were not working (Weaver, 1981,12, 18; See also Weaver 1993, 76). The link between government-sponsoredprograms and assimilation also extended to gathered research. The Indian andEskimo Association of Canada (TEA) provided DIA with current information onIndians that was used as a basis for the new programs implemented in 1961. Thisis not to say that the position of the TEA researcher was to facilitate thegovernment’s policy of assimilation. In a brief prepared by TEA in 1960, itsauthors did acknowledge the right of Native people to either chooseenfranchisement and assimilation and “go the whole way with whites”, or go“their own ways”.78 The Hawthorn Report (1966/67) also recommended thatNative people should have the freedom to choose integration, but only whenthey were in a position of equal opportunity to make such a choice (Hawthorn,1967, 6, 13). Clearly, there were many different positions taken by thestakeholders involved in government programs for the “Indian”. Both the TEAresearch and the Hawthorn report underline that assimilation was not amonolithic government conspiracy carried out without question by non-Nativeson First Nations peoples.The Indian Advisory boards (part of the programs mentioned above) wereset up at both provincial and national levels with appointments made by theprovincial and federal governments. Wilson Duff was appointed to sit on theBritish Columbia Indian Advisory Committee along with Native leaders, such asGeorge Manuel, and other professionals. What was significant about the board inentailed moving whole communities to new geographical areas, i.e., Davis Inlet),and 8. Draft legislation for an Indian claims commission (Weaver 1981, 20).78See, “Approach to the Future”, brief prepared by the Indian Eskimo Associationof Canada for Parliamentary Committee on Indian Affairs, (Toronto, 1960), 4.71British Columbia was the refusal of First Nations members to be contained by theprescribed function of an advisory committee, and to simply provide thegovernment with their “personal views as experienced leaders” (Weaver 1981,30). In refusing to speak as individuals rather than representatives of theirpeople, or to act solely in an advisory capacity, they subverted a federal initiativefor assimilation. In doing so they exploded the assumption that the “CanadianIndian population was composed of individuals without serious desire tosurvive as members of Indian communities or tribal entities” (Tennant 1990,141-146).As a committee member, Wilson Duff was privy to observing First Nations’structures of governance and their expertise in organising and democraticdecision-making. He knew perhaps, more than the other Arts of the Ravenexhibit curators, that the integrity of First Nations communities would beundermined by an individualising process. The canonisation of Edenshaw andhis heirs as individuals who successfully integrated through the adoption ofEuro-Canadian middle-class values would dilute the need to establish aboriginaltitle as a means of addressing social injustice and the lack of equality. However,as was demonstrated earlier, Duff drew a distinction between his work (theinterpretation of aboriginal material culture) and the contemporary politics andlives of Native people in British Columbia.The authority of lEA research, the Hawthorn report, and Duff’santhropological and archaeological knowledge, would affect their audiences’view of Native people, as did the anthropologists’ recommendations forassimilation in 1947. None of the researchers actually had agency in terms ofimplementing their research as policy. As anthropologist Sally Weaver revealsin her article on the Hawthorn Report and Indian Policy (1993), it is impossible toassume a homogeneous governmental perspective regarding research, since it issubject to the personal philosophies of the policy-makers and political ideologies,72which can shift rapidly. Underlining this point, she discusses the way in which“the new Trudeau government (1968) dismissed the [Hawthorn Report] as auseful approach to a new policy” for Indians (Weaver 1993, 90). In making herpoint about the limited agency of the anthropologists as an arm of the federalgovernment, Weaver also recommends that anthropologists consider it theirresponsibility “to make serious efforts to predict the political implications of[their] recommendations not just on. . . First Nations Indians in Canada but onthe government as well” (Ibid.). Although I acknowledge that Hawthorn, Duffand others may not have made any final decisions regarding their research, theywere, nevertheless, complicit in reinforcing themselves as “experts” of FirstNations histories and cultures.In consort with Canada’s nationalist aims and concerns, DIA established a“Cultural Affairs Section” in their Social Programs Division in June 1965--justtwo years before Canada’s centennial. The purpose in creating this section was todevelop “non-commercial support” for Indian arts and crafts, which previouslyhad been under the jurisdiction of Industry and Mining.79 Part of its goals andobjectives was to hold special exhibitions and projects, develop publications ofinterest to Indians and maintain liaison with the National Film Board, CanadianBroadcasting Corporation, the National Museum and the National Gallery ofCanada. Its mandate was to encourage and provide financial support for artisticand cultural activities among Indian communities. However, First Nationsartist, curator and art historian, Tom Hill, stated in his retrospective of CulturalAffairs that officials were not interested in programs with a sound cultural base,whereas programs with a sound economic base “got all the support in the world”79See: Gerald McMaster, “Tenuous Lines of Descent: Indian Art and Craft of theReservation Period,” In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on ContemporaryNative Art, (Hull: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1993), 93-120 for this writer’sdiscussion of development of Indian arts and crafts in Canada and its relationshipto the Department of Indian Affairs. This discussion does not discuss BritishColumbia or Northwest Coast “Indian art”.73(Hill 1978a, 35). In fact, the conflation of government recognition of Indianculture with economic development programs would enable the federalgovernment to officially recognise Indian culture as part of its multiculturalagenda, and to participate in the “War on Poverty” through the reification andcommodification of First Nations’ cultures.Expo ‘67 was the first major opportunity for the Cultural Affairs office topromote Native culture to a Canadian and International audience (Sullivan1965-1966, 48). The “Indian Pavilion” at Expo ‘67, like the Arts of the Raven,exhibit was just one of many projects contributing to the shift of “Canada’sIndians” to the new category of Art and Culture. Sponsored by DIA at a cost of$1,250, 000. 00,80 the Department proposed that the site would be a venue inwhich Canada’s Indians could represent themselves. DIA attempted to representthe pavilion as a joint Indian/DIA project, but even the advisory board for thePavilion was selected without consultation with any segment of the Indiancommunity. When Manuel was informed that he had been selected as a boardmember, he only accepted his appointment after the leaders of B.C. Indianorganis.ations affirmed that he should represent them. It is under thesecircumstances that artist, Bill Reid’s path crosses with that of the elected FirstNations leader George Manuel.According to Manuel, years before the Indian Advisory Board for the“Indian Pavilion” at Expo was even confirmed, a non-Indian member of theboard had gone to the West Coast to select a totem pole carver for the Pavilion--by passing the kind of decision in which the board was supposed to be includedin. A civil servant group had commissioned Bill Reid to carve the pole for a sumof $12,000.00 on the recommendation of a federal government organiser.Although Manuel was instructed by DIA’s Regional Director to go to a meetingin Montreal to support Reid’s nomination, and to meet with Reid for a final80Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, File #121-600/43-3. 6July 66. T.B. Number-C.T. No. 658012. DIA Indian Art Centre Archives.74briefing, Manuel refused to go to either meeting. Instead he demanded that thecommission be open to bids from First Nations communities. Through aposition similar to the one taken by First Nations members of the B.C. IndianAdvisory Board, Manuel shifted the power dynamic, which enabled many otherFirst Nations carvers on the coast to bid for the commission. As a DIA PressRelease noted, the project was finally awarded to “Henry Hunt and his son Tony,23, [Kwakwaka’wakw] Indians of the Fort Rupert Band, on Vancouver Island. Athird carver, Mr Simon Charlie, a Coast Salish Indian from Duncan, B.C. [would]assist the Hunts”.81 The bid was secured at $5,500,00.This intersection between three of the artists from the Raven exhibit (Reid,Henry and Tony Hunt), and a First Nations leader underscores the fact thatsomeone constructed in the art arena as representing Haida, Northwest Coastand Canadian Indians in a centennial exhibition, had little currency in Manuel’sworld where First Nations individuals became representatives throughdemocratic decision making, or through hereditary title. Reid’s commissionreveals that he was obviously of federal importance by the 1960s. However, asdiscussed earlier, the federal government, specifically DIA, was and is onlyobligated to recognise one kind of Indian, the status Indian. In this case--Manuel,who was not only an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act, but an electedrepresentative of First Nations people in B.C., could not be ignored. DIA wasobligated to represent the interests of registered Indians, not those of non-statuspersons such as Bill Reid. It is significant that the final selection of carversfocuses on status Indians who had worked on other government-sponsoredprojects (this will be discussed more fully in Chapter Four). Interestingly, theHunts were described in DIA’s News Release as the fourth generation of carvers81”British Columbia Indians to Carve Totem Pole and Welcome Figure for IndiansExpo Pavilion,” Indian of Canada Pavilion (DIA Press Release, 1-66108, n.d.).75who claimed a lineage to “the late Mungo Martin, one of Canada’s most famouscarvers” (Ibid.), a lineage which was not mapped out in the Raven exhibit.To return briefly to the Arts of the Raven exhibit, Reid participated in a bidfor equality in terms of the institutional practices he was most familiar with, andwhich were more reflective of his being a descendant of a non-status parent, thanbeing a descendant of Charles Edenshaw. And to clarify, Reid did not self-consciously “choose” equality the way many politicised organisations orindividuals did (as in Smitheram and BCANSI, above). Manuel on the otherhand, wanted to explode Canadian ideology and worked for political and socialequality in relation to a concrete Native reality. For Manuel, equality for theIndian could only be achieved by organising regionally and nationally for federaland provincial recognition of aboriginal land title.76CHAPTER THREEIndian Institutions and RepresentationThe claim in the Arts of the Raven catalogue that “the old Indian cultures of thecoast were dead” was the premise upon which the exhibit curators presumed tospeak for Northwest Coast peoples. As discussed in Chapter One and ChapterTwo, the proclaimed “experts” of Northwest Coast aboriginal culture and historybased these assumptions on their position that only a few Northwest Coastaboriginal peoples were engaged in producing cultural objects or in practising“traditional” activities, and that no one knew the “original” meanings of most ofthe objects. I will argue that the meanings Northwest Coast First Peoplesinvested in those poles, masks, crests and rituals, in terms of aboriginal title,property rights, land use and other privileges, were never alienated, bought, sold,stolen or appropriated. Specifically, those meanings--as they pertained to the landquestion between the federal and provincial governments and First Nationspeoples in a province where treaties were yet to be negotiated--were not dead.Thus while the experts and public “rediscovered” the so-called dead or“dying” Northwest Coast Indian material cultures as “modern art, fine art,Canadian art”, thereby creating a movement which would later be proclaimed bythe media as a Renaissance, Native leaders in B.C. continued to address the issueof aboriginal title through newly formed mediums such as Indian organisations.Beginning in 1890 with the formation of the Nisga’a Land Committee, FirstNations peoples in the place now called British Columbia remained committedto ensuring the continuation of their cultures through changing socio-politicalpractices, and mediums82 such as the Nisga’a Land Committee (1890), AlliedTribes (1916-27), the Native Brotherhood (1931) and other organizations.82Similar arguments have been made in such articles as “Tsimshian of BritishColumbia Since 1900,” by Gorden B. Inglis et al., in Northwest Coast., vol. 7, WayneSuttles ed. (Smithsonian Institution 1990), in which he discusses contemporarychange in the various Tsimshian villages, and the shift from traditional77The belief in dead or dying aboriginal cultures has co-existed with theequally persistent salvage paradigm throughout the west’s colonial history.While it is true that disease, and government and missionaries’ programs todismantle traditional forms of community had a devastating effect on FirstNations peoples, First Nations cultures have not been erased.83 There has neverbeen an uncontested solution to the so-called “Indian problem”. On theNorthwest Coast, the church and state did have limited success in suppressingresistant impulses in Native communities. However, the church alsoengendered changing cultural practices that continued to signify, among otherthings, aboriginal ownership of traditional lands. In turn, the state contributed toa shift from a trade economy to a wage economy (primarily logging andcommercial fishing) that facilitated Northwest Coast leaders’ commitment toestablishing aboriginal title.When in 1870 the Colonial government seized all land in what is nowcalled British Columbia without compensation to aboriginal people through anestablished treaty process, the political meanings of Northwest Coast culturalceremonial and esthetic expression to Euro-Canadian type-”clubs, organizations,musical bands, and choirs” (285). The authors produce strong evidence to arguethat what has been interpreted as cultural loss and assimilation can moreappropriately be viewed as a manifestation of “vitality and cultural growth” (286).In an article in the same text, Marjorie M. Halpin and Margaret Seguin alsodescribe the Tsimshian people of Metlakatla as “active participants in their ownmissionization” (“Tsimshian Peoples: Southern Tsimshian, Coast Tsimshian,Nishga, and Gitksan,” 281).83Clearly, many Metis and First Nations people, anthropologists and historianssuch as those discussed in the note above are concerned with exploding theinstitutionally established image of “Indians as a dying people” and its corollary,the salvage paradigm (see note 8), which has been produced and managed withinWestern institutions to meet particular ends. However, it is equally important notto forget that thousands of aboriginal peoples actually have died through thediseases introduced by contact, through acts of colonial imperialism and throughthe Canadian government’s relentless programs for assimilation. In other words,while we as First Nations and Metis peoples are concerned with exploding theinstitutional construction of Indians as a dying people, it is equally important torecord the actual great losses experienced by aboriginal peoples at the hands ofcolonial governments--and that is a history that has only just begun to bewritten.78practices became publicly enmeshed with the politics of the federal andprovincial governments in a profound way. The Canadian government andother institutions refused or, as Berger stated, “simply could not appreciate thefact that people without a written language may, nevertheless have well-developed legal concepts” (Berger, p. 56 above). Thus First Nations leadersbecame involved in a power struggle with federal and provincial governments,making claims, based on their own laws, aboriginal rights, and British andCanadian democratic process. These rights asserted in the public sphere, weredifferent than the rights and privileges claimed through the display of traditionalcultural material and ritual within and between Northwest Coast First Nations.From around the turn of the century contemporary Native organisations becamethe medium through which First Nations publicly engaged in their dispute withthe Crown for the right to determine their cultural and political futures.Newly formed political organisations, the church and a wage economy formthe premise upon which Paul Tennant tracks the contemporary political historyof First Nations in British Columbia in his book, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics:The Indian land Question in British Columbia, 1849-1989. (1990). In the chapter,“The politics of survival”, Tennant describes the way in which British Columbiawas divided up between Protestant and Catholic missionaries, with theProtestants allocated the north and the west, and the Catholics, the east and thesouth. While there was suppression by the state and church of aboriginal culturalpractice, the socio-political meanings invested in cultural practice and materialculture shifted, but continued in the north and the west within the framework ofProtestantism. This was facilitated by Protestant missionaries who “allowed”Northwest Coast symbols and ceremonies such as the potlatch to continue in thechurch--albeit in an altered state. Conversely, Catholic missionaries did not allow“indigenization” of their church practices and regalia. In the book, WithoutSurrender without Consent: A History of the Nisiga ‘a] Land Claims, (1984)79Daniel Raunet discusses not only the impact of the Church on the Nisga’a, buthow the Nisg&a’s refusal to give up cultural/political practices affected theconsciousness of the missionaries and changed the practices of the church, towhich he states: “In a way, the Nis[g&a] ‘Indianized’ the new religiousinstitution and adapted it to their own needs. Unto this day, no other majorinstitution in Canada. . . espouses unflinchingly the cause of the Native landclaims” (1984, 73)Cultural historian Stuart Hall has commented regarding the function of“tradition”, that although institutions of the dominant culture do impact on thecultures of traditional communities, these institutions do not function oncompletely passive audiences as if they are “blank screens”. At the same time,Hall does not argue for enclaves of whole, intact alternative cultures. To do so,he states, “neglects the essential relationship of cultural power--of dominationand subordination.. . and it underestimates the power of cultural implantation”(1981, 132-34). In reference to Hall’s argument then, one could say that withinaboriginal Northwest Coast territories and communities, First Nations traditionsand activities have come to “stand in a different relation to the way [Nativepeople] live and the ways they define their relations to each other, to the others,and to their conditions of life” (Hall, 228). Few of the “others”--church, state,non-Native individuals, institutions, and communities--have acknowledgedFirst Nations oral histories, rituals, crests, clans and other systems of signs usedto define land use and ownership. Rather, “others” laid claim to First Nationsaboriginal territories in direct contradiction to their own laws, thereby changingFirst Nations’ “conditions of life”. Cultural practice did continue withintraditional territories, changed, but still inextricably bound up with land, rightsand privileges. Out of that cultural shift in the north and the west in BritishColumbia, Native political leaders emerged who would play significant roles inthe public negotiation for aboriginal rights, and whose activities in the public80sphere represented an integral aspect of living and changing Northwest Coastcultures.The relationship between the church and Native peoples is clearlydemonstrated in a comment in a 1976 booklet produced by the Nishga TribalCouncil entitled, Citizens Plus: the Nishga People of the Naas River inNorthwestern British Columbia. Nishga land is not for sale:The early missionaries of the Anglican and Methodist churches had aprofound effect on [the lives of the Nisga’a], but they never tried to tamperwith that fierce love of the land. Many of the Nishga traditions andcustoms are incorporated into the church’s life and teachings today. Clergywear the traditional button blankets during services and other highfestivities. Totems and talking sticks are reappearing. The elders includethe Anglican bishop of Caledonia (Northern B.C.) diocese who is anadopted Nishga(5, 6).As is pointed out by Tennant, the church clearly played a significant role in therise to political power of First Nations political leaders, such as Frank Calder(Nisga’a), a graduate of Anglican theological college at UBC, a traditional chiefand spokesperson for the Nisga’a Tribal Council, Atlin MP, active leader in theNative Brotherhood; Peter Kelly (Skidegate, Haida), Methodist minister, skipperof a church mission vessel, a Doctor of Divinity, and Chairman of the AlliedTribes and later of the Native Brotherhood; and Alfred Adams (Massett, Haida),Anglican minister and founder of Native Brotherhood.Institutionalising themselves to address economic, social and politicalconcerns in the public arena, First Nations in the province formed suchorganisations as the Nisga’a Land Committee (1890), The Indian RightsAssociation (1909), The Interior Tribes, Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia(1916), The Native Brotherhood (1931), The Confederacy of the Interior Tribes ofB.C. (1942), the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (1958) and others.84 It is84Contemporary organizations were formed by aboriginal people themselves inrelation to issues of aboriginal title, their socio-economic rights and the IndianAct’s legal commitment to “protect” Indian lands. It was through this choice thatNative peoples sought to widen, adapt, and integrate their traditions within thewhite political system (Tennant, 85). The following are but a few examples of81important to note, as Tennant points out, that “the formation of contemporaryaboriginal institutions is not simply an adoption of British legal principles andwhite values, but the use of a particular framework which meets Indian viewsand demands” (1990, 26-29, 71).When the period of political prohibition of 1927-1951 was introduced by theParliament of Canada, which included a provision in the Indian Act to make itan offense punishable by law to raise funds for the purpose of pursuing anyIndian land claim (Berger 1991, 148), the Allied Tribes disbanded. No neworganisations were formed until 1931 when the Native Brotherhood of BritishColumbia was formed. Although its members could not publicly pursue “landclaims”85 the Brotherhood was still very much concerned with aboriginal title,and maintaining First Nations cultural identities. Two of its initial organiserswere hereditary chiefs and commercial fishermen, who owned their own boats.According to Tennant, the fishing industry facilitated wider mobility and a widernetwork of political contacts, and the dissemination of the Brotherhood’sconcerns regarding the land dispute, education, medical, old age pension, as wellas fish prices (73).existing texts that discuss the formation of contemporary First Nationsinstitutions, which in some cases are separate, but not mutually exclusive, fromFirst Nations’ institutions within their own territories.Rolf Knight. Indians at Work: An Informal History of Native Indian Labourin British Columbia, 1858-1930 (Vancouver: Newstar Books, 1978), discusses theformation of various labour unions, cottage industries by native people datingback to the turn of the century; Michael Asch. Home and Native Land: AboriginalRights and the Canadian Constitution, (Toronto: Methuen Publications, 1984),discusses the formation of national and regional First Nations organizations,including status, non-status, Metis, and Inuit; Paul Tennant, Aboriginal Peoplesand Politics: The Indian Land Question in British Columbia, 1 849-1989, (Vancouver:University of British Columbia Press, 1990), describes the process of theinstitutionalization of Native politics in British Columbia as a process that reflectsagency through the conscious choice of traditional practice over assimilation orwhat Tennant terms, pan-Indianism.85The term more commonly used by First Nations leaders for the dispute is, the“land question,” as First Nations do not “claim” their own territory. It is thegovernment of Canada that has made the “land claim” on the territories of FirstNation, who question that claim.82Also closely linked with the Brotherhood was the monthly newspaper,TheNative Voice, which began publication in 1946. Although it was initially ownedand managed by a non-Native person, Maisey Hurley, it was the “only paper inCanada published exclusively on behalf of the Indians” (The Native Voice,November 1946, 1), and had a circulation of over 3,000 in Canada, Alaska andEngland (Ibid.). In the first edition, President of the Native Brotherhood, ChiefWilliam D. Scow (Kwakwaka’wakw ) wrote an urgent call toall Native people to give their full support to the Native VoiceThrough our NATIVE VOICE we will continue to the best of our ability tobind closer together the many tribes whom we represent into that solidNative voice, a voice that will work for the advancement of our owncommon native welfare (Ibid.).Parallel to these historical developments, First Nations’ cultural practiceand material culture became confiated with “white” interest in Indian curios andtheir attendant limited economic power. With the objectification,commodification and institutional reclassification of Northwest Coast culturalobjects in the public sphere, the meanings and sometimes the forms ofNorthwest Coast material culture were transmuted into the hybrid objectsproduced in relation to a capital economy and academic disciplines. In otherwords, First Nations cultural materials, whose meanings were and are intricatelytied to Native government and sovereignty, encompassing ritual, law, oralhistories aboriginal languages, were reworked and re-categorised. Westerninstitutions, “Friends of the Indians”, anthropologists, art historians and otherIndian “experts”, introduced Northwest Coast material culture into the publicsphere as relics, artifacts, or as dance, music, drama and legends--categoriesassociated with science as well as the Arts--all of which represented to a westernpublic particular levels of human development, or notions of civility andculture.In this context, and in a public arena dominated by the western institutionsas the dominant means of communication, for First Nations’ leaders, Native83“cultur& as defined by non-Natives became subordinate to more pressingconcerns. As stated in the Native Voice in 1948:before we have even the leisure to seek cultural things, we have tofight to gain equal status: equal opportunity. That is our fight, but ourwhite brothers can help. Their thoughts form public opinion--we do nothave an opinion in the government of Canada (3).However, noting the interest of “whites” in Native culture, in the first issue ofthe only Native Voice newspaper Guy Williams stated that “For the specialbenefit of our good white subscribers we will try to carry legends, customs andtraditions of the Native Folk” (December 1946, 7). In fact, from 1946 to 1967,articles on art and culture were placed somewhat ironically in sections titled,“Women’s Pow Wow Corner”, “Art and Crafts”, “Little Bows and Arrows Club”and “Legends and Myths”.Obviously, the “Native folk’s” culture for “white” consumption wasdifferent for Williams’ than his cultural and political concerns as a Haislapolitical leader and skipper of a fishing vessel. The Native Voice had statedclearly in the first issue its commitment:to equality for the original inhabitants and owners of Canada.. . todemand our rightful position with fellow Canadians... [to work] for thebetterment of conditions, socially spiritually and economically for itspeople. . . to encourage and bring about a communication and cooperationbetween the white people and Native Canadians... to join with theGovernment and its official. . . for the betterment of all conditionssurrounding the lives and homes of the natives (The Native Voice 1946,1).Although the Native Voice claimed in this same issue to be “undenominationaland non-political”, the journal stated in bold uppercase letters, “LET’S BECANADIANS and [be] recognized as human beings”, the journal was alsocommitted to presenting its views “in Qiii own way” (emphasis mine). Thisentailed a strong voice on aboriginal title and rights based on the politicalposition of various Indian organisations. In this context, Canada as a sign ofmodernity, technology, industrialisation, democracy and freedom, was the84platform and point of departure for First Nations to speak as the “originalCanadians” and the “true owners of Canada, “who, unlike other Canadians, hadspecial status in relation to aboriginal title and rights. (It should be noted thatthere are many articles in the Native Voice in which other First Nationsindividuals and groups did not identify themselves as Canadians.)In the 1983 catalogue for Vancouver Art and Artists: 1931-1983, aretrospective exhibit of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Doris Shadbolt commentedon the 1967 Arts of the Raven exhibit, and compared that period in the 1960s tothe present when one could tune into the Saturday-night radio show, “NativeVoice”in the 1980s ,and listen to the incredible changes that had taken place forNative people:Now [there are] sophisticated voices, legal minds and sharp intelligencesthat also from time to time reflect a truly passionate concern for the morespiritual meaning of their culture. The will to a new place for the Indiancomes through very strongly. The new art has contributed to that spirit butnot too much of it speaks with fresh authority (1983, 268).Certainly, the Arts of the Raven exhibit has been identified as a “turning point”(Duffek 1993, 221) in the appreciation of Northwest Coast Indian art.86 The “newart” as it is referred to by Shadbolt--which has gained visibility through theefforts of many individuals, organizations and institutions committed tocreating an audience and appreciation for Northwest Coast Indian “Art”--hassince become a platform from which some First Nations peoples have spoken totheir social and political concerns (See footnote 126). The “fresh authority” withwhich Northwest Coast traditional images now speak is a different historicalcontext than the 1960s; it is one in which First Nations peoples are asserting theirsovereignty through more traditional modes of governance. However, it seemsthat Shadbolt, like the curators of the Arts of the Raven exhibit, believed thatbecause a profusion of cultural or art objects were not being produced up to the86See also Ames 1981, 5; Halpin 1978, 51; Blackman 1981, 55.85time of the exhibit, that Northwest Coast “culture” was dying or dead. Thus sheinfers that there were not “sophisticated voices, legal minds and sharpintelligences” in 1967. Yet, the situation was such that in the post-war period andin the years leading up to the 1960s, asserting authority over heritage resources,cultural practices and languages by First Nations leaders in the place now calledBritish Columbia was subordinated to the more pressing concerns of equality,human rights, the land question and control over resources.Consider the historical circumstances leading up to 1967 in whichNorthwest Coast material culture was being produced. For example,anthropologist Marius Barbeau who was committed to bringing Haida “artists”out of “obscurity and anonymity” set out in Haida Carvers in Argillite (1957) todescribe the Haida artisans in “their own setting”. In one case, Barbeau related aconversation he had in 1939 with Haida, Jim Mackay, Dowekye-kyihlas, who isdescribed as both the captain of a fishing boat and one of “the best” argillitecarvers. In response to Barbeau’s question about why he had stopped carving,“especially when the demand for totems and curios [was] heavier and moreremunerative than ever before”, Mackay’s response was, “You have urged us toshed our grandfather’s Indian blanket. And now you are telling me to put it back.Too late, my friend” (141). The fact is that Mackay made his living in thecommercial fishing industry, and making poles for curio hunters, collectors andanthropologists could not compete with a wage economy. (See Chapter Four onthe Indian Arts and Crafts Society which discusses the concern that Indian artsand crafts were unable to sustain a healthy local economy.) Barbeau’s response toMackay’s statement was that “not a few” Haidas such as Jim Mackay havewanted to turn their back on “what is considered a lurid past”, and furtherreferred to the Haida’s “last six generations [as a history of] . . . abuse, depravityand disease” (Ibid.). Barbeau described another Haida carver, Luke Watson, as a“foundling born to white parents [who] .. . like one who belongs to a superior86race, was apt to be self-assertive.. . but [whose] house was sloppily kept, as that ofother Natives” (147). Through these differing views of Mackay and Watson,Barbeau implied that the conditions the Haidas had endured were due to boththe inhrent make-up of those not of “a superior race”, and the socialised habitsof “sloppy Natives”, which naturally led to their abject history or “lurid past”.Barbeau’s position then was that Mackay gave up producing “Indian art” becauseof his “lurid” Haida past. Yet by the time Barbeau published this document in1957, the findings of the 1946 Joint Committee had demonstrated that it wasCanada that had a lurid colonial imperialist past. In fact, all of Jim Mackay’schildren had died of tuberculosis needlessly,87as had thousands of other Nativepeoples. The federal and provincial governments and the Department of IndianAffair’s petty administrative policies regarding proper medical care for Nativepeoples accounted for the death of thousands of First Nations people.88 This87The death of MacKay’s children was recounted by Willis and Mary White of OldMassett Village, Haida Gwaii. Mary White spoke of her childhood when she wouldsee families in Skidegate who would make tents of sheets on their front lawnswhere their family members would go to die. Ethel and Maude Moody alsoremembered McKay’s children and stated that it was mostly the children whowent to residential school who died of tuberculosis (private conversations, Aug. 7,1993 and May, 1993 respectively).881n 1948 tuberculosis mortality for First Nations was 5,792 per 100,000 vs. 42.2 perCanadians. See, The Native Voice, (Mar. 1948: 5). In The Native Voice a noted leaderand fighter for human rights Dr. Norman Black, discussed the lack of medical carefor First Nations and the Indian Agents who refused Native peoples hospitalizationor medical attention because going over the reserve fiscal budget could cost theagent his job. However, the lack of accountability by the federal government isunderlined in a 1948 article in the same newspaper, “Court turns case upsidedown: Judge Indicts Gov’t Neglect of Indian”. Charles Nah Bexi from White BearIndian Reserve, Saskatchewan was charged with manslaughter for the death ofone of his children to tuberculosis. In fact nine of Bexi’s twelve children had diedbecause he was unable to get medical help. The judge acquitted Bexi and closed bystating that “the condition which resulted in the charge of manslaughter issomething happening every day on our reserves. When will it end?” (Mar. 1948:15) That same year another article in the same newspaper discussed conditions ona James Bay reserve in which 50% of First Nations there had tuberculosis. A doctorwent to the outpost once a year to give cursory checkups when the Indian agentpasses out the treaty money of $5.00. The chief explained to the Indian agent that,a one hour airplane trip to a doctor would have saved the many people who diedevery year (paraphrased). (See: Don Delaplante, “Indians suffer in Northland:Hunger, Poverty, Disease Exact Toll of Redman” The Daily Press, (Fort AlbanyJames Bay, 1948), n.d., n.p., qtd. in The Native Voice, (June 1948), 7).87lack of accountability at both structural and ideological levels is what made beinga legal entity defined by law as “Indian”--not being Haida, or Tsimshian, orKwakwaka’wakw or Metis, or any other nation--something any aboriginalperson ‘would want to turn their back on. However, “the will to a new place” wasbeing implemented in the twentieth century through First Nationsorganisations, such as the Native Brotherhood, led by such Haida leaders as PeterKelly and Albert Adams and many other representatives of other First Nations.A 1966 Native Voice newspaper editorial, “More than art to life”, underlineswhere the emphasis for Native leadership lay:One of our readers has written complaining that we do not dealsufficiently with Indian legends and art and too much with what hedescribes as ‘politics’. As a non-Indian, he betrays, we believe one of theconcepts many friends’ of the Indians hold--that the cultural and artisticcontributions is paramount and Indians should sit around the campfireswapping legends and carving totems. We regard these aspects of Indianlife as cultural matters of great importance and have constantly urged thatthey be cherished and nurtured and developed. . . .The Indian isawakening and rapidly becoming increasingly aware of his rights and howthey have so often been ignored and even worse, denied. It is this newlook that we reflect in The Native Voice. We think a god [sic] newspapercombines cultural, economic and political activities and we can only saywe have tried to do our best along those lines (The Native Voice, June, 21966, 2).The Native Voice did express its concern for the preservation of Indianculture, evident in articles featuring First Nations artisans such as, MungoMartin, Ellen Neel and her son David Neel, George Clutesi, Dan Cranmer, JudithP. Morgan and others. In each of the articles, the various First Nations artisanstook a strong position regarding their commitment to preserve their owncultures and languages, and to speak their own histories. More than that, someof the artists addressed the validity of their own customs and laws. For example,when a pole of the “Qui-qwa-sutinuk tribe” was presented to the Alma MaterSociety of the University of British Columbia in 1948 by Chief William Scow on88Ted and Ellen Neel’s behalf, it was presented with the “full consent and approvalof [their] tribal council and [their] people” (December, 11). However, for the mostpart, the public display of First Nations’ art and culture to a Canadian public wereseparate, and subordinate to more pressing concerns for equality and humanrights. These rights and aboriginal title were not to be secured through the publicdisplay of poles, crests, ritual and other traditional means. This is well-illustratedin the February 1959 edition of the Native Voice (Fig. 27) in a photograph oftotem poles being removed from their original sites to storage in a museum,which is placed above an article below summarising the positions of Ottawa andthe Allied Tribes on the Land Question. While few First Nations people wereproducing poles and other cultural objects at the time as discussed by Holm, Reidand Duff, it did not mean that Northwest Coast culture was dead. The meaningsinvested in those poles in regards to aboriginal title, property rights, land use andother privileges, were not put into storage. They were, and had remained, of ongoing concern.Yet First Nations leaders were certainly aware of the significance of the wayin which popular images of Native culture circulated in the public sphere. In anarticle, “Ojibways ‘Steal’ Totem, B.C. Natives Don’t Object” (Native Voice:September 1961, 1) a leader of the B.C. Native Brotherhood explained: ‘The totemmay soon be accepted as the national symbol of Indians in Canada. Mr Williamssaid Indians are trying to form a national organization and are still undecidedbetween the totem and the feather headdress.”89 However, the public display ofpopular images by Native political leaders was not a bid to reproduce anauthentic or original meaning for them, but a process of negotiating meaningand power in the public sphere. It was a strategy that underlines that the89Ojibwa carver, Cliff Whetung discusses totem poles as a west coast invention, buthe carved them because, “White people associate totem poles with Indians andseem to expect us to make them, so our people have obliged. We’ve grafted ourtraditions onto them and made them Ojibwa totems” in “Indian craftsmen areskilled carvers,” Telegram. (Nov. 23, 1966), n.p.89transformation of objects by the culture industry does not signal closure (ordeath), but constitutes an open-ended continual struggle for determiningmeaning. The fact is that Native imagery and material culture had already beendeeply entrenched in the public arena as symbols of a national heritage, as asignifier for Canadian roots, as a container for the Canadian imagination and as ametaphor for the abstract ideals of western ideology. Quite ironically, it was thesekinds of popular images that did not meet the Raven exhibit organisers’‘standard’ for Northwest Coast masterworks.Through these political, religious and economic structures, Nativeleadership not only changed and survived, but remained dedicated to ensuring adistinct First Nations existence through continued changing, socio-politicalpractices.90CHAPTER FOUR“Progress” and “Master Artists”This chapter briefly surveys the earlier establishment in British Columbia of anIndian “master artist”, a history that overlapped with some of the Arts of theRaven exhibit organisers’ conceptions and artists’ practices. However, therecognition for this earlier lineage of “Indian artisans and carvers” was notestablished in the context of the disinterestedness claimed by the producers of the1967 Arts of the Raven exhibit. In the Raven exhibit, “masterworks” by theNorthwest Coast Indian were established as rare objects that had been reduced toa “few saved treasures”, produced in the present by the remaining “few” whohad the “genius” to create such treasures. In contrast, the development of Indianartistic resources in the late 1940s and 1950s was linked to the establishment ofeconomic development projects in B.C. for “Indian arts and crafts”, which wouldprovide jobs for “Indians”. However, the use-value of Northwest Coast materialculture would ultimately depend on public interest and understanding--thuspublic recognition of Indian master artists. At the same time, creating interest inIndian art had the potential to make the province of British Columbia a culturalcentre.90The proposed project for ‘indian artistic resources” in British Columbia wasto be dependent on the support of Indian Affairs and western institutions--museums, the Canada Council, and the professional expertise of anthropologists--to promote, interpret and perpetuate Northwest Coast material culture as art.Thus “Indian Art” emerged in British Columbia at the British ColumbiaProvincial Museum (BCPM) and at the University of British Columbia’s90As discussed in Chapter Two in relation to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s 1958, 100years of B.C. Art exhibit; see also Morris 1958.91Department of Anthropology and Museum of Anthropology (MOA) under theauthority of those named by those same institutions as the experts--the officialholders and disseminators of Indian culture and knowledge--some of whomwould reconstruct a different kind of lineage for Indian master works and masterartists.Anthropology and the Modern IndianIn 1947, when most First Nations leaders in British Columbia were fighting forthe right to vote in order to address their political and socio-economic concerns(some did not want the vote, believing it would compromise their ‘special rights’as “Indians”), Dr Harry B. Hawthorn became the first anthropologist appointed toa university post in western Canada (Borden 1981, 89), “with the understandingthat the progress of the Native people would be one of his concerns and that adepartment of anthropology would eventually be established” (A. Hawthorn1993, 1). Dr Hawthorn’s position was that the new role of the anthropologistshould be that of a person who understood the Indian and their difficulties, whowould assist and help guide their education and their adjustment to the social,economic and political aspect of Canadian life (H. Hawthorn 1948, 13). His goalwas seemingly different than the primary goal of anthropological andethnological research during the nineteenth century and much of the twentiethcentury, which had been the so-called “salvaging”, collecting and documentingof supposedly dying (rather than changing) ways of Indian life (Dyck andWaidram 1993, 8). Although Hawthorn was quoted in a 1948 Native Voicenewspaper article as believing that the Indians’ customs and material culture,which had been the subject of the anthropological studies, no longer existed(March 1948, 4), he acknowledged the continued value of Indian art andphilosophy:If the Indians of B.C. are given better health and education... then someof their successes--in thinking, in bringing up their children, in working atone of the worlds most original arts, could make B.C. a cultural centre..92Fortunately there are some who knew what (the art and philosophy] was,and there were those who wrote of it when it was the established life ofthe land, and we must recognize that in part it still informs the lives ofmany of our own contemporaries and fellow British Columbians, themodern Indian (1948; emphasis mine).As the first anthropologist appointed in western Canada, and head of anewly created Department of Anthropology at UBC, Hawthorn signaled a clearshift from simply salvaging and recording the cultures of dying peoples, toassisting in their “progress” as “modern Indians”. This assistance includedfacilitating and encouraging Native cultural practices as “Art”, which wouldcreate a limited economy for First Nations peoples. At the same time, those“who wrote” about Indian art and philosophy as the art and philosophy of “ourfellow British Columbians”, would contribute to the establishment of B.C. as acultural centre. In other words, if the art was made by a “fellow BritishColumbian,” then it was B.C.’s heritage. Interest in the transcendent timelessnessof Indian art and the Indian’s adjustment to modern Canadian life, then, alsoserved the agenda of the newly established anthropology posting at UBC, and theDepartment of Indian Affairs--not those of First Nations organisations such asthe Allied Tribes and the Native Brotherhood.As part of the bid to generate public interest and understanding of the art oftheir fellow British Columbians, Hawthorn drew comparisons betweenNorthwest Coast masks as a “world art” and the work of western artists, such asDaumier and Goya (H. Hawthorn 1948, 4). Similarly, anthropologist MariusBarbeau, in his book, Haida Carvers in Argillite (1957), also identified more thanforty Haida artisans from the villages of Skidegate and Massett, Haida Gwaii(AKA: the Queen Charlotte Islands) as “the contemporaries” of Western artists,such as Constable, Turner, Courbet, Millet, Gauguin and Cezanne (141). Barbeauwas committed to bringing these individuals out of “obscurity and anonymity”since few of them “except for perhaps Edenshaw were ever portrayed ormentioned by name in their own setting” (ix). Although the limitations of this93paper and this chapter do not allow me to consider where Hawthorn andBarbeau’s interests in Northwest Coast Indian Art intersected and diverged,Barbeau’s projects begs the following questions: who was it that was beingbrought out of obscurity and anonymity? in relation to whom did this allegedobscurity exist? and why was this project undertaken? Hawthorn’s appointment,and his new role as an anthropologist committed to the “progress” of the Indianpeople, to creating jobs through a master craftsman and apprenticeship program,to elevating the status of Northwest Coast Indian art, and to making B.C. acultural centre, begs the same kinds of questions given the fact that suchindividuals were not anonymous within their own territories and cultures. AsBritish Columbia’s “Indian cultural heritage”, the public role of Northwest CoastIndian art and artists were to serve the interests of the province and the state.In fact, totem poles had become common regional emblems by the 1950s. Ina 1954 progress report on the Totem Pole project, Wilson Duff wrote an articleentitled, “A Heritage in Decay--The Totem Art of the Haidas”, in which heargued for the importance of the poles not only as “artt’ but as a regional emblem(Fig. 28):Furthermore, it is not only as objects d’art in museums that the art of thetotem is appreciated; the totem pole as a distinctive emblem has come tobe used liberally to flavor the developing regionalism of Canada’s WestCoast. Totem trademarks are now used on theatres, on buses, on licenseplates. British Columbia is fast becoming ‘Totemland’ (Duff 1954, 158-61).In 1954, H. B. Hawthorn, Cyril S. Beishaw and Stuart Jamieson werecommissioned by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (Departmentof Indian Affairs) to conduct the first comprehensive study to focus on theadjustments of the Indians to Canadian life, and to obtain data and specificrecommendations for future policy. Hawthorn et. al proposed in the chapter,“The Economic Role of Art and Craft”, in the completed document, The Indiansof British Columbia: A Study of Contemporary Social Adjustment, that programsto foster a revival of artistic skills among the Indians to create employment94would also require shifting the image of an Indian who made curios into that ofa “fellow British Columbian” who made Canadian art. Drawing on paradigmsfrom the United States on generating an audience and patrons for Indian artsand crafts, it was suggested that different kinds of informative books on Indianlife should be produced by the University of British Columbia, private publishersand the federal government. These books, according to the authors of thedocument, would attract the interest of potential consumers ranging from artconnoisseurs and interior decorators, to tourists and curio-seekers.Demonstrating the changing responsibility of anthropologists to assist in “theprogress of the Native people”, the report also suggested that museums shouldassist in fostering interest in Indian artistic resources by actively seeking out localcraftsmen and offering them the opportunity to exhibit contemporary work(Hawthorn et al 1958, 265). In the same chapter, Mungo Martin, aKwakwak&wakw carver from Fort Rupert was identified as one of the “one ortwo master carvers” still living who would benefit from the “assistance” ofmuseums (Hawthorn et al 1958, 258). It was suggested in the text of The Indiansof British Columbia that the collection, repair and copying of old totem poles, aproject that began in 1925, 1 and which already had representation from theBCPM, UBC and the Department of Indian Affairs, “could grow into a majorschool of carving and perhaps foster a revival of the skills among the Indians”.Such a project, it was suggested, could provide part-time “jobs” for Nativefishermen or loggers in the winter time, with the educational aspects of this91See, “Totem Pole Restoration on the Skeena River, 1925-30: An Early Exercise inHeritage Conservation,” by Douglas Cole and David Darling in BC Studies. No. 47,(Autumn 1980), 29-48. Cole discusses the totem pole preservation project, fundedby DIA and CNR, which focused on poles along the CNR’s route between Hazeltonand Prince Rupert. Interest in the poles arose according to Cole, due to the“heightened perception of endangered [Canadianj heritage and the possibility ofcommercial tourism” (31). A Totem Pole Preservation Committee,” was formed withrepresentatives from the B.C. Provincial Museum, Department of Indian Affairs,and Parks Canada. Both DIA’s interest in the poles as “art” and the Museum’sinterest in them as ethnological specimen were compatible with CNR’s interest inthe poles as tourist attractions.95work assumed as a federal responsibility (Hawthorn et al. 1958, 258, 59, 63).Recognition of Martin as master carver would then take place within the contextof a “school” sponsored by the Indian Affairs branch of the federal government,as a provincial program, and under the direction of western expertise ofanthropologists such as Wilson Duff. Thus the project would fulfill, in part, thefederal government’s fiduciary responsibility related to the social welfare,economic conditions and increased educational opportunities for First Nations.Kwakwaka’wakw carver Mungo Martin, began working “under thedirection “ of the British Columbia Provincial Museum’s Curator ofAnthropology, Wilson Duff, in a provincially sponsored government programfor “The Preservation of Totem Poles”. The Project began with the “salvaging”and preservation of “totem poles” by anthropologist, Marius Barbeau (A.Hawthorn 1993, 8, 9). It was followed by the commissioning of new poles, whichprovided a potential model for a community development project that couldaddress economic and education concerns regarding “the Indian”. The threecontemporary Kwakwaka’wakw artists who later exhibited their work in the Artsof the Raven exhibit “learned” from Mungo Martin: Martin taught his son-in-law, Henry Hunt (grandson of George Hunt who worked with anthropologist,Franz Boas (Cannizzo 1983, 44), his grandson, Tony Hunt (Henry Hunt’s son)and Doug Cranmer, the nephew of Mungo Martin’s niece, Ellen Neel (Danzkerand Hunt 1983, 266).92 Curator and contributing Haida artist, Bill Reid, alsoworked on his first pole with Martin in 1957, although Doris Shadboltmaintained in her biography of Reid that “it could hardly be said that he receivedinstruction from Martin”, and quotes Reid as relating that when he worked withMungo Martin, Martin simply told Reid, “carve there” (Shadbolt 1986, 30). Reid,92For a further discussion of the family relationships of these Kwakwaka’wakwcarvers, see also Gloria Cranmer Webster “Serious Flaws Mar Totem-Pole GuideAimed at Mass Market,” Times Colonist (November 10, 1990), A-12, and PhilNuytten, The Totem Carvers: Charlie James, Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin,(Vancouver: Panorama Publications, 1982).96however, does acknowledge Duff as giving him his “first opportunity to carve ona large scale” (Reid 1981, 14).One year after Reid’s introduction to carving poles with Mungo Martin,Harry Hawthorn invited Reid to create a section of a Haida village with DougCranmer as his “assistant”.93 This was to be the second stage of the Totem PoleRestoration project under the direction of Hawthorn and the Department ofAnthropology at UBC (A. Hawthorn 1993, 19). The concept of building a restoredvillage had been one of the recommendations put forward to the Indian AffairsBranch in The Indians of British Columbia report published just the year beforethe Haida longhouse project began. Hawthorn et. al argued that:three or four houses with carved poles before them decorated withdistinctive clan crests [could be] a contribution to public education, amuseum for study and a point of interest and pride for the Indians whosaw it (emphasis added) (1958, 259).These projects, as they were connected to public education and Indianemployment, were supposed to provide Indians with jobs and “a point ofinterest and pride”. In fact, few First Nations had access to Mungo Martin’s work.In the fifties, Mungo Martin spoke of the loneliness of working in the ProvincialMuseum far away from his people (qtd. in Duff 1959, 7). Native leader, GeorgeManuel, addressed the fact that Reid’s work at UBC in the sixties may have“provided university students the opportunity to study his techniques”, butthere were very few Native people attending UBC at the time for whom Reid’swork could have provided a point of interest and pride (Manuel and Posluns1974, 174). Given the fact that registered Indians did not even have access topublic schools until 1960, when they were granted the federal vote, the “Indianart projects”, created outside the authority and geographical boundaries of FirstNations’ communities could hardly be said to be produced for the benefit ofNative peoples.93Canadian Weekly. September, 1962, n.p.97I am not arguing that the re-categorisation of cultural objects within westerninstitutional practice signaled closure. The erasure and construction of meaningsof Northwest Coast aboriginal [material] culture that took place within museumsand the discipline of anthropology and archaeology coincided with profoundchanges within Native communities. The shift in patronage for, and productionof, Northwest Coast cultural objects from First Nations territories to westernuniversities, museums and galleries also accommodated--although in a muchmore limited way--some First Nations concerns regarding the continuation anddocumentation of their histories, their traditions, “Indian ways” and languages(as disccussed in Chapter Three, p. 87)--all of which constituted an open-endedcontinual struggle for meaning of Northwest Coast cultural objects in the publicsphere must also be acknowledged. Through the Totem Pole Restoration Project,individuals such as Mungo Martin were able to address some of their concernsabout their respective cultures.Martin’s own people would eventually produce and curate a retrospectiveexhibit about the importance of his work within his own Nation and the Nativeand non-Native communities within which he worked. The exhibit, entitled ASlender Thread, was produced in 1991 by the Umista Cultural Centre in AlertBay, B.C. as a “group effort”. The exhibit organisers describe Chief Nakap’ankam(one of Mungo Martin’s hereditary names) as someone who “helped to save theculture of our people, the Kwakwaka’wakw of British Columbia”.94 A review ofthe exhibit at the Vancouver Museum in February and March (1991) describedthe title as referring to “the fragility of the bonds that tie together the past andpresent in any culture”. It also referred to a lineage that linked nineteenthcentury chiefs and carvers, and the men of Martin’s own generation in thetwentieth century, with Martin’s successors in the Hunt and Cranmer families94Text from Copy Panel 1 of exhibition. Vancouver Museum Archives. See alsoMungo Martin: A Slender Thread/The Legacy, produced by Barb Cranmer. [Video](Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West, 1990).98who are the Kwakwaka’wakw leaders and artists today (paraphrased).95 While Iacknowledge and honour the importance the social history provided by ChiefNakap’ankam’s own people regarding his importance to them, much could alsobe said of Martin’s significant role in western institutions as it was linked to thedevelopment of the concept of artistic lineages, curatorial histories for individualIndian master artists. Although a discussion in further detail is beyond the scopeof this thesis, the lack of attention paid to Mungo Martin’s work in the Arts ofthe Raven exhibit raises a number of questions: What were the historicalprocesses in which institutional support for the collection, repair andreproduction of traditional totem poles shifted to a focus on Indian art as worksof genius created by individual artists? Why was the Haida lineage of Edenshawprivileged over that of Kwakwaka’wakw “master artist”, Mungo Martin and hisheirs, who actually learned from directly from Martin?--in contrast to Reid whostated that he had learned from western texts and institutions and from hisfellow non-Native curators. In turn, would Henry Hunt and Tony Hunt haveinsisted on having authority over representation of the traditional meaningsand display of their work as it pertained to Kwakwaka’wakw cultural practiceand their oral histories, had Mungo Martin been selected as “the best” NorthwestCoast carver?The following discussion surveys the early development of Indian art inBritish Columbia, the time when Mungo Martin’s work gained prominence inwestern institutions. It also provides an overview of the historical circumstancesthat informed the Arts of the Raven curators’ understanding of Northwest Coastmaterial culture as fine art.95saturday Review, (March 2, 1991), n.p.99Indian Arts and Social WelfarePrevious to the work of Hawthorn and Duff, Alice Ravenhill, the founder of theB.C. Indian Arts and Welfare Society (1940),96 also worked to stimulate interestin the “cultural folk life and the traditions of the Indians”, a tradition, which,according to Ravenhill, formed “the background of Canadian history”.97Inrelation to the use of the term “welfare” in the society’s name, Ravenhillexplained:It means a conduct of society by which every member strives to add to thefoundation of the state so that the superstructure of our national life maybe solid; so that the merits and genius of each individual of each section ofpeoples shall be unified in the general welfare of the nation (emphasisadded).98The goals of the Society, which initially operated under the auspices of theBritish Columbia Provincial Museum99 (Abbott and Inglis, 1991),lOO intersectedwith the goals of the State--the Department of Indian Affairs. The state was alsoconcerned with the unification of the individual in relation to the welfare of thenation. The Indians of B.C., who had already been “individualised” through the96Originally founded as the “Society for the Furtherance of B.C. Indian Arts andcrafts”. Ravenhill began studying the background and history of First Nationspeoples under Mr. William Newcombe, whose father was Dr. Newcombe, founder ofthe Anthropology Department of the Provincial Museum. See, Mildred ValleyThornton, “Alice Ravenhill’s Great Contribution Fostered Advance,” The NativeVoice. Special Supplement, (March 1948), 2.97Albert Miller (President of the B.C. Indian Art and Welfare Society). “Letter ofAppreciation,” The Native Voice, (August 1947), 2.98”B.C. Group Fosters Best In Art, Helps Unity Grow,” The Native Voice, (Feb. 1948),2.99me name of the British Columbia Provincial Museum was changed in 1986 tothe Royal British Columbia Museum.t00According to Abbot and Inglis in “A Tradition of Partnership: The RoyalBritish Columbia Museum and First Peoples,” in Alberta Museums Review vol. 2,No. 17 (1991), the Provincial Museum’s involvement with the Society was topromote the welfare of First Nations peoples by increasing public awareness oftheir arts and crafts, and marketing their work. This article also provides anhistorical overview of the development of the Provincial Museum.100federal Indian Act’s registration system, and “homogenised” through itsimposed classification based on race, blood quantum and male lineage in order tomeet the state’s interests of governance, would now “contribute” their culture tothe prosperity of the Dominion. While they contributed “culture”, the statewould then recognise them as individuals through their contributions to thewestern categories of “Art” and “Philosophy”.In the foreword to Ravenhill’s book, A Corner Stone of Canadian Culture:An Outline of the Arts and Crafts of the Indian Tribes of British Columbia,Ravenhill acknowledged support for the Society by the Indian Affairs Branch,Department of Mines and Resources in the preparation of her work. The IndianAffairs Branch commissioned Ravenhill in 1940 to prepare wall charts of “thearts and crafts formerly practised by [B.C.] Indian tribes for use in Indian schools”,in the hopes that Indian arts and crafts would be seen as a contribution “to theprosperity of the Dominion [and to] . . . the artistic, cultural, economic andcommercial development of [Canada]” (ii). In recognition of Ravenhill’s supportof Indian Affairs, a 1947 newspaper report on the Special Joint Committee of theSenate and the House of Commons appointed to examine the Indian Act,acknowledged her for greatly facilitating the meetings.101 In fact, thedeliberations of the 1948, “Conference on Native Indian Affairs” at UBC,organised by H. Hawthorn and sponsored by the B.C. Indian Arts and WelfareSociety, were reported to the Joint Committee.At the 1948 conference some First Nations artisans voiced their concernsregarding the low economic return for Indian art and handicrafts, while alsoexpressing a concern for the lack of public knowledge about First Nations culture.Kwakwaka’wakw artisan Ellen Neel stated, “our art must continue to live, fornot only is it part and parcel of us, but it can be a powerful factor in combiningthe best part of the Indian culture into the fabric of a truly Canadian Art101”Letter of appreciation,” The Native Voice. (Aug. 1947), 2.101form”.102 The politics of Neel’s suggestion to combine Indian and Canadiancultures to create a “truly” Canadian art form revolved around the powerrelations that emerge from the recognition for the “true worth” of any culture. Infact, it was the western institutions (through which the Indian art category wascreated) that had the power to create worth and value in the public sphere, andby extention, patrons for the production of “authentic” Indian Art. Neel’sposition underlines the struggle over what constitutes, in Stuart Hall’s words,the “forces and relations which sustain the distinction, the difference: roughlybetween what at any time counts as a distinct cultural activity or form and whatdoes not” (Hall 1987, 234). While Neel was concerned with the recognition ofKwakwaka’wakw and Northwest Coast aboriginal cultures, as well as the needfor a patron to sustain the production of cultural objects, her position must alsobe seen in the context of post-war Canada. As discussed in Chapter Three, FirstNations peoples publicly identified themselves as “Native Canadians” or “theFirst Canadians” to draw attention to their economic and social inequality withthe Canadian populace. It was from this platform that they spoke to the issue ofsecuring their aboriginal, territorial, legal and human rights.Some members of parliament, on the other hand, saw granting the Indianthe vote as a Canadian as:a great step toward assimilation... [which would] make the IndianCanadian realize that we are all united. . . [and that the] Indian would[not] lose his rich background of cultural achievements, or any of therights he enjoy[ed] under treaties, or any of his rights, statutory or atcommon law.103‘°2”The Conference on Native Indian Affairs Successful,” The Native Voice,(April 1948), 2.103”Indians and the Vote,” The Native Voice. (July, 1948), 2.102Federal support for the Arts and Welfare Society in the forties, and the UBC andBCPM projects in the fifties and early sixties, only partially addressed the federalgovernment’s fiduciary responsibilities. More importantly, they reinforced theirbroader, relentless agenda of assimilation. While there was a Native politicalvoice in relation to the land question and social conditions, clearly, there wasalso slippage between gaining “equality” and the assimilation of the Indian into aCanadian body politic, and First Nations cultures into Canada’s history andheritage. As “the First Canadians”, First Nations peoples such as Ellen Neel wereencouraged to preserve their “culture”, their art and philosophy, but,significantly, only in ways that First Nations sovereignty or self-determinationwere not represented.As an important aspect of the background of Canadian history, Indiancultural and “folk” life were advanced for the artistic, cultural, economic andcommercial development of Canada. For example, Judy Morgan, identified as aTsimshian from Kitwanga, won many scholarships for her painting on canvas ofNative mythology, work that was compared to the work of Emily Carr. Tocommemorate the enfranchisement of the Native people of B.C. in 1949, theProvincial Government purchased five of her paintings as a record of the phases“of Indian life fast disappearing from our Northwest Coast”. That same year, herwork was exhibited at the National Museum of Ottawa, with the financialsupport of the Department of Indian Affairs.104 George Clutesi of the Seshaht(Nuu-chah-nulth), who had shown his work in a one-man-show at the VAG in1944105, was also recognised for his work of preserving the legends and dances of104”Indian Girl’s Paintings have been purchased by the British ColumbiaGovernment,” The Native Voice, (August 10, 1949), 1. For other articles on JudyMorgan in The Native Voice, see also, July 1947; Nov. 1947; June 1948; Sept. 1948;and August 1949.t05Clutesie exhibited 16 drawings, June 13-25, 1944. None of the drawings wereacquired by the VAG. (Vancouver Art Gallery Bulletin 1944-45. No. 564, vol. 12, No.10, June 1944-45.103his people on canvas. Clutesi’s work on canvas was encouraged and givenpractical assistance by Lawren Harris, Emily Carr, Ira Dilworth and AnthonyWalsh.106 It was Harris who urged Clutesi to work in progressively largercanvasses, to keep his own style and to not be influenced too much by traditionaltechnique.107 However, Clutesi’s work like that of Judy P. Morgan wasrecognised, “as a concrete example of what proper supervision can do for theIndians if they set their minds to advance (italics mine)”--that is, through the useof adapting Indian art to western materials, forms, content andmethodologies.108This is different than the way in which Northwest Coastmasterworks in the Arts of the Raven exhibit were represented as fine art, thework of Indian master artists, who used traditional Northwest Coast design andmediums.Another individual who influenced the development of Northwest Coastmaterial culture as “fine art” was Erna Gunther. In Women Anthropologists: ABiographical Dictionary, Gunther is described as a student of Boas, who was“dedicated to establishing the cultural context for [Native] arts and customs,”..and [who] from the late 1950s to the late 1970s. . . campaign[ed] to arouse publicsupport for anthropology and for the arts and crafts of Northwest Native106The Native Voice. (November 1947), 10.107For other articles on Clutesie, see The Native Voice, (Nov. 1947), 10; (March1948), 1; (Sept. 1948), 10. Ira Dilworth chief executive of the C.B.C. Radio, andAnthony Walsh also encouraged him in his work to set his “Indian Folk Tales”down as a collection, which were later broadcast on C.B.C. by Clutesie. The captionbeneath the photograph of Clutesie with his work and paintbrush in hand (Sept.,1948) states, “So long as paint exists on canvas, these legends and dances will notbe lost”. The support for Clutesie’s work had much to do with preserving theheritage of B.C..108A E. Pickford. (Member of Executive Council. B.C. Indian Arts and WelfareSociety) Arts and Crafts Canadian Pacific Exhibition, The Native Voice, (Sept.1947), 11. The goals of the Indian Arts and Welfare society were among otherthings, “To bring to the notice of the public, the innate merits and deep-rootedartistic talents of the Indian people by means of exhibitions of their Arts andCrafts, Folklore, Music, Drama and Dance.. .To arouse the Indians themselves to arealization of their true place in the organization of this country...” (qtd. in theIndian Advisory Committee Newsletter, Feb. 1966,3).104peoples” (1988, 133-39). Gunther, like A. Ravenhill, H. Hawthorn and others, wasalso known as a person who was committed to applying First Nations cultures toIndian education (under the category of the “Arts”) and to the “Indian’s”adjustment to modern Canadian life. At the 1948 “Conference on Native IndianAffairs” at UBC (above), she drew attention to the importance of developingIndian art, not only as an economic investment, but as an “education thing...[that would benefit] not only the artist but the society in which he lives.Two of the curator/consultants for the Arts of the Raven exhibit--Holm andDuff--had been students of Gunther’s at the University of Western Washington.After moving to Seattle in 1937, Holm studied anthropology and Fine Art there,and as a student of Gunther’s attended Native spirit dances with her.11°WilsonDuff completed his Master of Arts degree in Anthropology under the direction ofGunther in 1951 (Ames 1981, 17). In the Preface to Hoim’s 1965 text on NorthwestCoast Indian Art, Holm credits both Gunther and Duff for their assistance in thecompilation of his text. (Interestingly, Gunther does not refer to Hoim’s 1965formalist analysis of Northwest Coast art in her 1966 catalogue, Art in the Lfe ofthe Northwest Coast Indians.111 ) Gunther’s commitment to the recognition ofNorthwest Coast material culture as fine art was well established before 1967. In1939, Gunther curated what has been described as the first exhibit of NorthwestCoast material culture as “works of art” at the Golden Gate InternationalExposition in San Francisco (Altman 1966, viii). Also shown at the Fair, andparallel to Gunther’s exhibit, was a government-sponsored exhibit of Indian Artthat was curated by Rene’ d’Harnancourt, General Manager of the Indian Arts109The Native Voice. (April, 1948), 2.1 10 The Vancouver Sun “The Man Who Knows Form,” November 5, 1983.1 1She refers to what Hoim describes as ovoids, U-shapes and formline as “thenucleated circle, the ubiquitous eye design, and the squared off oval. Curves oftencreate the effect of being contained with an imaginary rectangle, the contours ofwhich they are forced to fill” (1966, 6).105and Crafts Board, and future director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York,who had the help of Erna Gunther’s (Ibid.). In 1962, Gunther curated anotherexhibit at the Seattle World’s Fair, which she described as “masterpieces ofNorthwest Coast Indian art. . . [surrounded by] the world’s finest art. The‘Masterpieces of Art’ from El Greco to Klee . . .“ (Gunther 1962, 8 ,9). The SeattleFair’s Fine Art’s pavilion was divided into five exhibits: International, Modern,American Art, Old Masters and Northwest Coast Indian Art. It was Gunther’sintention that Northwest Coast Indian Art should “stand together with the greatarts of the world, both historic and contemporary” (qtd. in M. Hoim, n.p.).However, she also asserted that the production of great Northwest Coast“masterpieces” had ceased with the “destruction” of the social systems throughwhite settlement, and that Northwest Coast Indian Art was “as much a matter ofthe past as . . . the art of the Renaissance” (Gunther 1962, 8).Although the authors of the Arts of the Raven catalogue contended thatthe old Indian cultures were dead, unlike Gunther, they asserted that the artstyles survived as evidenced by Haida artist Charles Edenshaw’s lineage ofartistic genius, leading to his living heirs, Bill Reid and Robert Davidson. Theseindividuals, among others, would later be constructed as establishing acontemporary Renaissance of Northwest Coast art.106CHAPTER FIVEConclusionAuthorities of Northwest Coast First Nations cultures. Who are they?Origins and Contamination by ModernityAccording to the Arts of the Raven catalogue, Kwakwaka’wakw art “never didsuffer a full eclipset1,but evolved--albeit “contaminated” by modernity. InWilson Duff’s 1959 article, “Mungo Martin, Carver of the Century”, he describedthe Kwakwaka’wakw world into which Mungo Martin was born as stillfunctioning, but “no longer functioning normally” (5). In contrast, the Haidastyle is described as having been kept barely alive by slate carvers.’12 This was aworld in which, according to the catalogue, the Kwakwaka’wakw felt free to“[make] the rules as they went along” (N. pag.). While “the slender thread” ofKwakwaka’wakw art evolved and changed, perpetuated in part through thepatronage of provincial institutions, Reid described Haida art as a reconstructionof (uncontaminated) origins that existed only in museums and text113:Everything else that was going on was a result of people imitating peoplewho were imitating other people who were imitating the great people ofthe past. It was sort of the diminishing stream. So we skipped all that andwent back to the origins--in museums and books--and discovered what wethought were the basic rules governing at least the northern style of the art(Reid qtd in Duffek 1983, 40; emphasis mine).1 Reid acknowledged that, “[t]here was some adequate slate carving and a few oldmen. John Cross, Tom Moody, John Marks, and my grandfather, Charles Gladstone,were making some quite nice bracelets.” (Reid qtd. in Duffek 1981, 16).13me survival of NWC First Nations ‘arts and crafts’ was an on-going dialogue inAnthropology. “Very little would be left now bearing the name of the Haidas,should we discard the splendid work of their craftsmen of 1860-1920 at Skidegateand Masett; these were the two Edensaws, Skaoskay or David Shakespeare, WilliamDixon, Tom Price, John Cross, the cripple Chapman, and a number of others, not afew of whom survived into our century. In another sphere, the secret societies ofthe Kwakiutls and the Tsimsyans have continued in operation in some quartersalmost to the present day” (Barbeau 1950, 763; emphasis mine).107In fact, Reid has so little confidence in the legitimacy of the knowledge held bycontemporary Haidas, that he would later memorialise Duffs romantic notionsabout the Haida in contrast to his own perception of Haida’s contemporaryreality:I think [Duff] wanted his Charlottes to be the home of the old Haidas,...not a largely deserted land with a few crumbling relics of rotten wood, anda handful of fishermen and loggers and their families occasionallyremembering memories as they became more and more like the worldthat surrounds them. (1981, 13; emphasis mine).This position is reminiscent of Barbeau’s reaction to Jim Mackay (discussed inChapter Two). Barbeau clearly believed that if “material culture” was notevident, then neither was the dynamic of changing First Nations cultures. Yet,the economic stability provided by logging and fishing, which signaled a “lack” toReid and others such as museum director, Audrey Hawthorn as late as 1993,114provided, for example, Haida leader Peter Kelly, with political power and limitedeconomic autonomy (as discussed in Chapter Three).HoimBill Hoim was described in the catalogue as being “steeped in [Kwakwaka’wakw]culture”. He held pseudo-potlatches in which he danced and sangKwakwaka’wakw songs with “his Indian dancers” (Fig. 1 & 2). Through a closefriendship with Mungo Martin, “Holm acquired a number of privileges andhereditary names. He was an initiate of the Hamatsa (Cannibal Bird) society andhas potlatched to validate the names given to himself and his children”.115 Likeother western “primitivist artists”, Bill Hoim’s position in the exhibit may bedescribed as an intellectual who had “gone Native”. At the same time, Hoim’s1 4Aucirey Hawthorn referred to Percy Gladstone, a Haida, as a young man inSkidegate, who “without opportunity to become anything other than a fisherman[tried] to force his community to lift itself up through the impromtu adulteducation he devised” (1993, 6, 7).1 15”The Man who knows form,” The Vancouver Sun, (November 5, 1983), n.p.108intellectual analysis of Northwest Coast Indian arts, created a space for it as aninternational art form--a form he described in the catalogue as “steeped in the[Kwakwaka’wakw] tradition”.116 This oppositional image of the work contrastsHolm’s view of Northwest Coast design with the work of contributing Nativeartists in both the context of the specificity of a Northwest Coast Indian arttradition, and universal aesthetic. As Holm’s co-curator, Bill Reid reinforced theauthority of Hoim in the exhibition catalogue, stating that his own (Reid’s)knowledge of Kwakwaka’wakw art began and ended with enthusiasticappreciation enhanced ‘by having been privileged to see on two occasions superbexamples of masks and costumes displayed as they should be. . . sensitivelyconceived and re-enacted by Bill Hoim and his dancers” (Reid 1967, N. pag.;emphasis mine; See: Fig. 1). Today Hoim’s position as an academic expert onNorthwest Coast material culture and its development within westernhistoricizing extends to such diverse topics as the maritime fur trade, weavingand textiles, issues of provenance, attribution and curatorial lineages forNorthwest Coast objects and makers, photography of First Nations peoples, andcanoe building.”7While he is generally well-respected for his work, he has alsobeen severely critiqued by Tony Hunt, Hereditary Chief of the Kwakwaka’wakwpeople, for not responding to a series of articles in April 1989, entitled “IndianArt: A Renaissance,” in the Seattle Times.118 In particularly, Hunt felt thatHoim should have responded to the articles that identified Hoim and two othernon-Native artists who made Northwest Coast art as being primarily responsible1 16”The Arts: The Play’s Not the Thing,” Time, (June 16, 1967), 13.117See Hoim 1965, 1967a, 1967b, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1982a, 1982b, 1983a, 1983b, 1987a,1987b, 1989, 1991.118Sunday April 2, 3, 4, 1989. See also: Letters to the Editor: “Articles are an insultto the great Kwakiutl chiefs and artists” by David J. Hunt, chairman; KwakiutlDistrict Council, Bill Wilson, political spokesman, Musganiagw Tribal Council, PortHardy; and “A very disturbing message” by Alan L. Hoover, Royal BritishColumbia Musuem, Victoria, B.C. in Seattle Times Editorial, (May 3, 1989) n.p.109for reviving Northwest Coast Indian art. Hunt referred to the work of hisgrandfather, Mungo Martin, who not only generously provided Holm with vitalcultural information, but who, more importantly, had passed on his culturalknowledge first to his family, such as Henry and Tony Hunt and Doug Cranmer.While Holm did respond to the Kwakwak&wakw chiefs in a respectful andhonourable manner, this situation once again underlines the problem of usingwestern expertise to authorise cultural knowledge, which can have the effect ofundermining First Nations access to representing their own interests in thepublic sphere..1’9ReidIn many ways Reid could be described as the perfect model for the successfulintegration of the Indian. The western values for which he was praised--hiseducation, articulate speech, and successful career--signal the possibility of thesuccessful assimilation of other Canadian Indians into the progressive space ofmodernity. At the same time, his work represents the democratic inclusion ofthe art and philosophy of Canada’s Indian into Canadian history. Yet, it is thecontradictory nature of these hybrid cultural forms of High Art that, to quotepost-colonialist theorist, Homi Bhaba, “opens colonial discourse to the possibilityof fracture from within. . . their very presence disrupts the apparently axiomaticsignificatory system which has invested itself with absolute authority over thoseit has constructed as Other” (Bhabha qtd. in Ashcroft 1989, 103).120In fact, the Raven exhibition afforded Dorothy Francis, one of the“storytellers” for the exhibit programming, the opportunity to speak about1 19Holm responded to the April 1989 article in October 1989. The important issuesthat this dispute raised had to do with representation, cultural appropriation, howwestern authority and expertise is translated in the public sphere, and thequestion’ of how “universal” NWC art is.120See also: Homi K. Bhabha, “Of mimicry and man: the ambivalence of colonialdiscourse”, October, 28 (Spring) 1984. The creation of the Northwest coast Indianmaster is also linked to the colonial subject, which could be explored more fully.110contemporary social and political issues. In an article in the Vancouver Sun,entitled “Ignorance is Worst Enemy: Educators, Parents Could Help Indian,” shespoke of the responsibility that non-Native communities and educators wouldhave to take, for the racial prejudice, residential schools, enfranchisement andeducation about “the culture and heritage that was here before Columbus came”.Refusing her assigned position as a storyteller in the Children’s Gallery, shesuggested that “maybe some adults [would] have an opportunity to hear her” atthe VAG. Francis explained that she left the reserve because, “[hiaving lived onreservations where the Indian has no voice I thought I could do more for themnow that we’re enfranchised”.121 There is a distinctive difference in her attitudeas a participant in the exhibit and Bill Reid’s. Francis made a conscious choice tobe enfranchised in order to affect change for Native peoples living on or off areserve. She expressed the need for equal opportunity for First Nations peoplesto education--but parallel to recognition of First Nations’ histories and theircultural differences. On the other hand, for Reid, equality meant integration.While the Native Brotherhood and other First Nations institutions werefighting for the recognition of Native rights, Reid learned about Northwest Coastmaterial culture and its attendant anthropological history from westernacademic institutions. It was through his relationships in these institutions thathe began his work as a Haida carver of Haida monumental art, a position thatalso gave him a privileged voice in the public sphere--something few FirstNations individuals had access to. In 1962, Bill Reid was quoted in theVancouver Sun and the Native Voice newspapers as saying that:villages on reserve will never be much better than ghettos unless they areset up as self-sufficient communities where Indian and white men canlive and work together . . .. Indians will continue to be second class citizens121The Vancouver Sun, (Aug. 4, 1967), n.p.111as long as they live on reserves without any efforts made to integrate theminto the white population (emphasis mine).122In contrast to Reid’s position, in 1974 The Aboriginal Rights Committee wouldmake this statement to the Special Committee of the Senate and House ofCommons:Poor as [some reserves] may appear to others, they are rich in memoriesand traditions for us. We wish to leave them to our children as wereceived them from our parents. We will not willingly surrender them.We should not be required to surrender them or the privileges attached tothem. 123Reid’s statement regarding the need for Indians to “integrate” reveals his lack ofunderstanding at the time of the interface between First Nations and theprovincial and federal governments. In the first place, villages on reserves inBritish Columbia were and are usually located within the residents’ traditionalterritories (Hawthorn 1966, 248, 9). Because aboriginal title would not beestablished in Canada until 1982 when the Constitution of Canada recognisedAboriginal rights, few First Nations peoples in B.C. would be prepared to livetogether with white men in their territories when issues of aboriginalsovereignty had not yet been recognised. Indeed, their primary concern was to berecognised as nations of peoples--not as individuals.124 Thus, the concern ofFirst Nations leaders was not focused on their “choice” as individuals withinCanadian society. For Reid, who was not registered as an “Indian”, and thereforewas not even legally entitled to live on reserve in his mother’s village ofSkidegáte, and who had not learned of his Haida ancestry until his teens, living122”Ghettos’ Used to Describe British Columbia Villages” The Native Voice, (Mar.1962), 5.123 Special Committee of the senate and the House of Commons, 1960, Proceedings.Queens Printer, Submission of the Aboriginal Native Rights Committee of theInterior Tribes of British Columbia. qtd. in Manuel and Posluns 1974, 123.1 24 The Minister of Indian Affairs referred to the Indian Act in 1965 as inhibiting“choice and individuality” in “Laing Speaks to B.C. Brotherhood,” The Native Voice.(December 1, 1965), 12.112on reserve did not signify living in his traditional territory or being connected tohis Haida history and family. Rather, Reid, like most of the public in the sixties,not only associated reserve life with poverty, ghettos and a second-class way oflife, but failed to see them as territories belonging to nations of peoples withhistories and laws of their own. However, the perspective of a de-politicisedIndian subject was common to the institutions, disciplines and individuals whopracticed Native history at the time.The evidence of this view as presented in the catalogues of earlier exhibits atthe Vancouver Art Gallery was briefly discussed in Chapter Two. For example, inthe People of the Potlatch catalogue, Audrey Hawthorn asserted that there were“gradations and differences of habit, idea and custom amongst Northwest Coastaboriginal peoples”, but it was their “mutually unintelligible languages” which“set apart each group as a tribe--although such a tribe had no political bonds (A.Hawthorn 1956, 8; emphasis added). Also expressing this view, Bill Reid statedin the foreword to the 1958 One Hundred Years of B.C. Art catalogue, that therewere “no formal tribal or political units and no recognised association largerthan the family. But there were large linguistic groups with distinctive culturaltraits, which were reflected in the style of their art” (N. pag.; emphasis mine). Inthe One Hundred Years of B.C. Art catalogue’s preceding paragraph, Reiddescribed the Salish art style as primitive, unsophisticated and childlike, inrelation to the “theatrical Kwagiutl”, the “expressive Tsimshian” and the“classical Haida”--the same descriptions, distinctions and categories used in the1967 Arts of the Raven catalogue.At least three issues intersect in the statements quoted above: 1) the explicitdenial of traditional First Nations political bodies, through which contemporaryFirst Nations political institutions were legitimised; 2) the construction of acultural hierarchy in relation to progress and development and 3) the reductionof tribal difference to “cultural traits”, which were reflected in the stylistic113differences of fine art. All of these factors conspired to locate Northwest CoastNative peoples, their histories and their culture in a timeless, apolitical space.Reid’s lack of understanding of Northwest Coast culture could be attributedto the paucity of literature on First Nations peoples in the fifties and the depoliticization of Native politics in western institutions that emerged fromanthropological literature. Yet, Reid would voice this perspective again in 1971.In Out of the Silence (1971), a book of photographs of Haida Gwaii, Reid insistedin poetic prose on the lack of Native politics:And yet/one of these clusters was Tanu./It wasn’t even a single politicalentity/but two villages separated by only a few yards./It knew nolaw/beyond custom,/no history/beyond legend/no political unit/largerthan the family,/no government/beyond an informal meeting of familyheads,/plus the tacit acceptance/of the superiority of the ranking chief(1971, N. pag.; emphasis mine).Audrey Hawthorn and Reid (as the foremost authority of Haida culture) must beconsidered in relation to the kind of authority the Canadian governmentinvested in anthropologists, archaeologists, ethnographers, linguists and otherinstitutionally constituted specialists of First Nations histories, heritage, cultureand languages at this time--a time when there was little material circulating onFirst Nations peoples. This is a key issue. The position of anthropologists, arthistorians, curators, and the like was not simply one of supplying an academicanalysis, but was linked to the authority of western expertise that continues to beused in the courts of Canada both to establish and extinguish aboriginal landtitle. The academic analyses of both Reid and Audrey Hawthorn reveal, as didDuff’s (discussed in Chapter Three), a lack of understanding of what constitutedaboriginal title--that is the authority of oral histories--not legends or myths--andtraditional laws for which Native leaders of territories had fought, for over ahundred years. Further, their analysis of Northwest Coast culture reveals a lackof recognition of even the contemporary Native political institutions withinCanadian society from the turn of the century, which were separate, but not114mutually exclusive, from traditional First Nations institutions and governmentsthat operated within First Nations territories.Yet, despite the way in which Reid privileged western values, form andaesthetics in relation to Northwest Coast cultures, his presence as acontemporary Haida artist of masterworks did open up some discourse oncontemporary socio-political concerns--albeit in a limited way. At the same time,the experience of Reid’s historical displacement and his position as an “urban”Haida artist and curator point to the multiplicity of aboriginal communities thatwere formed not only through acts of colonialism, but through the invisibility ofCanadian ideology. Today, Reid’s position of cultural authority is not only1ocatedin western institutions and knowledge, but has been supported byrepresentatives of the Haida nation’25--especially since his involvement in theland question in Haida Gwaii. The public image of him as an aboriginal artist ofHaida descent has taken on new meanings according to the circumstances andcontexts of various historical moments, blurring the boundaries of whatconstitutes Haida culture and politics.125There are many publications in which Reid is publicly supported bytraditional Haida chiefs and contemporary Haida politicians. See for example,“Carving Their Claim: Haida Nationalism on the Rise,” British Columbia Report.Nov. 13, 1989, 8-11. The image of Haida artist, Jim Hart carving introduces thequestion “Who owns Haida Gwaii (called the Queen Charlotte Islands in the article)anyway? It is a question made more pointed, according to the author, by theHaida’s growing artistic accomplishments (8). In reviewing the land question inHaida Gwaii, the author draws attention to symbols of nationalism such as theHaida flag (a depiction of an eagle and raven), and refers to the “first signs ofHaida resurgence in the 1970s” in relation to the flowering of the art of Bill Reidparallel to Haida’s political intentions of sovereignty (90). The article concludes,citing Jim Hart’s position on the importance of tradition and art as politics (11);In “Salvation of a Homeland: Miles Richardson,” (McLeans, Dec. 28, 1987, 32, 33)Bill Reid’s “First Men and the Clamshell” at the Museum of Anthropology UBCprovides the background for the President of the Council of Haida Nation,Richardson who is photographed in Haida regalia. Although the article does notdiscuss Reid’s work, it does draw attention to what a powerful sign “Haida art” hasbecome. The articles discusses logging in South Moresby in relation to the landquestion; See also: Crosby, 1991 for a discussion of Reid’s direct involvement inthe Haida’s dispute with the federal and provincial government over Athlii Gwaii.115DuffThe editor of The world is as sharp as a knife,: an anthology in honour of WilsonDuff Donald N. Abbott, made a comparison of Duff’s 1956 publication on stoneartifacts with the use of the same material as stone sculptures twenty years laterin Images Stone B.C. Abbott describes the shift from Duff’s “painstaking scholarlydocumentation in 1956... [of the stones, which led him] confidently far beyondconsiderations of distribution and style to reach into the very thought processesof the artists themselves, the cultures of which they had been a part, and . . . howit is to be human” (Duff 1975, 12). Clearly, it was Duff’s confidence in thescholarly disciplines of legitimised western forms of knowledge that facilitatedthe “risk” he states he took in “employing a great deal of artistic license” (Duff1975, jacket cover) in examining the stone works, and his presumption, based onthe structuralist theories of Claude Levi-Strauss, that he could get into the mindsof the artists. It was with this same confidence that Duff assumed to know whatwas in the minds of the Northwest Coast craftsmen. Regarding the “aestheticstandards” of the Arts of the Raven exhibit, “Gallery 6: Masterpieces ofNorthwest Coast Indian Art”, Duff asserted:We all have a strong temptation to apply the criteria which we havelearned, although these may not have been shared by the artiststhemselves. We have tried to use the judgment which they would haveused. These we think are the works which they would have chosen astheir best (N. pag.).However, Duff’s co-consultant, Bill Hoim, would argue that Duff made most ofthe decisions regarding the work of Edenshaw, whose role as a model for Indianmastery was central to the exhibit’s curatorial thesis:One of Wilson Duff’s responsibilities in the planning of [the Raven]exhibition was an Edensaw126 gallery. . .. He tentatively identified a largenumber of pieces as Edensaw’s work. Wilson, Bill Reid and I did not agreeon all the attributions at the time, but our understanding of the126Edenshaw’s name has been spelled differently in various texts according to thewriter’s understanding of the Haida language. However, no “correct” spelling canbe exist without a commonly accepted orthography, which doesn’t exist.116characteristics of Edensaw’s work was very rudimentary. and most of thechoices were left to stand (Hoim 1991, 175; emphasis mine).These three “experts” who “had the responsibility for the exhibition itself: itsconception, the search for and selection of the works comprising the show, theirthematic organization within the exhibition and the catalogue” (Shadbolt 1967,N. pag.), in fact, did not know what was in the minds of those who made theworks, any more than they could positively identify who the artists were. Theycould only hypothesise. While Reid and Holm also asserted, as did Duff, thatthere were no living Northwest Coast Indians who “knew” how to make“traditional” Northwest Coast art (see: Holm 1965, vii), much less understandtheir meanings, the knowledge held by these same individuals about Edenshawwas “rudimentary”. My point is that the authority of western text andprofessional expertise regarding the Northwest Coast Indian was/is based onpartial knowledge and shifting theories. Yet it is through this kind of authoritythat “experts” such as these question the knowledge held within First Nationsoral histories.PostscriptSetting .up cultural institutions in the heroic position of saviours of First Nationscultures bypasses the more important issue of addressing how that “need” wascreated in the first place. Certainly, it can be stated that many First Nationsindividuals and communities today recognise that accessing the informationrecorded by ethnographers, anthropologists, archaeologists, political scientists, arthistorians and curators is very important to filling in the historical gaps in localknowledge--which exist because of the many colonialist projects for assimilationand cultural genocide. Yet, there is no evidence that contemporary, NorthwestCoast First Nations’ cultures are any more “stable” or meaningful today than anyother First Nations whose material cultures did not garner the outside interest117that the Coastal peoples did, or who simply were not as geographically accessible.Who benefits from whom is a historically specific and complex question.In 1993, it is no accident that the British Columbia Museums Associationand the institutions it represented centred their discussions around“partnerships” with First Peoples at the same time that First Nations in BritishColumbia and the Governments of Canada and British Columbia formallyentered into a “government to government” relationship to resolve the landissue. The position of authority over territories, histories and laws that FirstNations leaders assumed in the public sphere in relation to the federal andprovincial governments over one hundred years ago has extended to manyarenas today. Many aboriginal groups, communities, nations and individualshave assumed ownership over they way in which they are represented in thepublic school system, museums, art galleries; Native leaders, knowledgeable andrespected individuals in First Nations communities, and Native professionalsare publicly questioning and evaluating non-Native “expertise”, adding to thediscourse the possibility of different systems of signs, the actuality of referentsoutside of western historicizing, and histories and narratives--previouslyunspoken or recorded in the public sphere.Yet it must also be said that the exhibit’s producers were informed by ahistorical moment that equated oral traditions with ignorance, text withknowledge, and modernity with progress and science. Paradoxically, modernityalso constituted “the diminishing stream” referred to by Reid that contaminatedthe “authenticity of objects’ origins”. In order to facilitate the “escape” of Haidaculture from the same fate as the Kwakwaka’wakw, the primacy of a textualhistory brought its audience and authors to the “origins” of Haida culture. Thus,from a so-called “dying” culture, the golden age of “classical” Indian art wasreborn as “Canadian art, fine art, modern art”, dependent upon western text,academic expertise and patronage to support and articulate its greatness. Through118this position of authority, Wilson Duff, Bill Reid and Bill Holm woulddetermine what was quality and what was “junk”, what Nation made whatcategory of art, and who was “the best” Northwest Coast Indian artist as a meansto establish public appreciation for Northwest Coast “Masterworks” and “Indian-masters”. In the process, the distinct, cultural histories of Northwest Coastpeoples, and their contemporary realities were discounted.In respect to such contradiction, I am compelled to ask, since First Nationspeople were not dying, what were their socio-political conditions of life at thisperiod of time? If they were not making a profusion of cultural objects, certainlythere must have been more going on than the terminal apathy implied in thecurators’ comments regarding Northwest Coast First Nations’ social conditions atthe time. If it is true that First Nations people “had little desire to replenish theloss “ of material culture, as some historians have asserted,127 I must ask, Why?If there was little skill for producing cultural objects at this time, as the producersof the Arts of the Raven: Masterworks by the Northwest coast Indian exhibitasserted, I must also ask, What constituted the skills First Nations peoples wereusing during the period when there were few cultural objects being made? Whattools did they have access to in order to realize their social and politicalconcerns?That is a history that must be and will be written by First Nations peoplesthemselves; this thesis attempts to contribute in a small measure to this history.t27Author, Ronald L. Weber, in a book review of historian, Douglas Cole’s CapturedHeritage: the Scramble for Northwest Coast Artifacts (1985), rightly identifies theerroneous notion that Indians were a dying people as the basic premise forcollecting during the period (1850-1920) as discussed by Cole. Yet he ends hissummary of Cole’s text with a revealing comment, “[B]y 1930 most traditionalartifacts were already in museums, and little desire or skill remained to replenishthe loss” (Weber 1987, 71; emphasis mine).—Izrn 0 zI I’I1.rJQ I—N C0120SEPT. 5, 1963 •.OAR MRS HAWTHOH ,c1M rHAT I DIDN’T WRITE IMMEDIATrLY U)YOUR LASTLEtTERwITHTI4EQ,EcK.AppOURLETTCRSCRDSSEDn4 TEEXPEC EXPEJSE 1IDNEY FROM Y0U IN ADDITION TO T’HONORAflIUM I DID THINK OF 4rTINc AND MENTITHIS RIGN’ AWAY, BUT I WFR.0N YOUR HOLIDAYS RIGI4T THEN AND J’DEGIDEd THAT YOU ‘-WOULD SEE THAT OUR LETT,EfS HAO’dROSSED THE CI4ECiC YOUSENT ALREADY WAS ZIORE T)4A ADEOUAT;.SPECIALLY SINCEt. ‘‘I ONLY WORKED ONE DAY-•E :::;‘c. HAD A GOOD ‘POTLATCH’ATCAM-.I-THERE WERE.., ,INDIANS PRESE4T, QUITEFEWQFrTHCM”GH’7...DAEN, SliT ALSO’’WHO ARE ANDI1AV BEENDN LE.D IN THE POATCKAND TS RAMIFICATIONS T,wAS-QOITAt EXCITING -rIME-—-.çk:—- rNFVFR DID CONNECT WiTH 9IL.. REID, 8U1 DID GTTQH1S PLACE AND TALKED TO HIS PARTNER AT LENGTHrALSO TALKED TO BILL. ON TI ‘HONC HE MENTIONED TrIATHE HAD TAIEN QUITE AFEW PICTURES IN OTTwA6oF PIECESIN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM) ND I AM QUITE ANXIOUS O SEE‘.—- r ‘1-.1- INCEY YOURS,_r_____Figure 241T’1f;141(1ci’v:1I4•I-J.CD123Figure 5p1:1CDI.J.CDL’)L1cJQ (U 00t’3L’J—aCD01811I-’ (D130Figure 12ElaaflTaTET(U I—c)I-rj‘1 CD4J(rJ fri.C ‘1 CD fraLU--liThe lastofthegreatHA1DAEAGLECHiEFSoftheSTASTASSHONGALTHLINEAGEshowingthematrilinealsuccessionChiefEdinsa(E)Chief Edinsa’ssister(E)(died1793)Yatza(E)Yatza’ssisterYatza’ssister(E)Yatza’sbrother(E)(born1761Maada(E)=Koyah(R)=(R)chieftainess,ChiefEdinsa1794Koyah’slinedied1840)Yaiza’sheir(E)I(diedyoung)Skoual(RGwai-gwun-thlin’sGwai-gwun-thlin(E)Gwai-gwun-thlin’sGwai-gwun-thlin’s2olderbrothers(born1812brother(E)sister(E)(E),Yatza’sheirs,ChiefEdinsa1841I___________________________killedinraidsbaptizedAlbertEdwardEdenshawTahayghen(E)Tahayghen’ssister(E)1884(born1835,baptizeddied1894)Charles Edenshaw1884Charles Gladstone(E)ChiefEdinsa1895(renouncedclaimtodied1920)chieftainship)Charles Gladstone’sdaughter(R)WilliamR. Reid(R)(E)=EaglePhratry(illustratorofR)RavenPhratryRaven’s Cry)V‘I--IF.UI:4)1coa)MarieBaker,whoisco-ordinotinganIndianworkshopatUBCthissummer,discusseshernativecostumewithMrs.DorisShadbolt,thenactingcuratoroftheVancouverArtGallery,ottheopeningofArtsoftheRaven.—CorlynnHcinneyjoinsinatoastwithDouglasEliukoftheNationalFilmBoardattheopeningnightpartyofArtsoftheRaven,VancouverArtGallerysexhibition,whichopenedwithchampagneandblacktieattire.IMr.andMrs.TerryLearmouthinspectahugepotlotchbowlwithMr.andMrs.VernHousezatopeningfeteofArtsoftheRaven.Theshow,whichrunsuntillateSeptember,fillsthegallerywithIndianartmasterpieces.137Last night’s gala opeflngBill Held of Vaitcoiner, Ii, look over one of the displays of InØian art thatJames Slwld of Alert £ opened at the Art Gallery Wednesday night.Figure 19138Figure 206TI$1 0I.I:Native Canadians140he 19thAnñuäl Native. Btotherhood of B.C. Conven‘on iill be held at Bella Coálo commencing April 5.Welfare Conference — The Regional Conference.. enWlfare. will be held at the Empress Hotel on May2, 3, 4. Indian Welfare will cppear on t’ha agendafor the first time In Canadian history. Mr. GeorgeClutesi and Commissioner W. S. Arneil will speak inconnection with Social Welfare..lie’:cc. Provincial —F-I-.‘.-..... IForFigure 221411zz*I____I :— I4I— —_ter John Diefenbaker is the first to fulfil the pI Indian people by the Great White Mother,—nIisters would respect and uphold theiirights,thógrass’growà.an4the waters flow.”Figure 23oCbrCbcO(i)rj I-J. (D t’.z(0 0)Canada’sfirstcitizens—theIndianpeople—areplayingaprominentandenthusasticroleinthenation’sCentennialcelebrations.Since1965IndianleadershaveworkedwiththeCentennialCommissiontodevelopprojectsthatrangefrombooksonlndtanloretotheconstructionofnewsportsandmeetingfacilities.Onsixty-oneIndianreservesacrossCanadatheIndianpeoplehaveco-operatedwiththeCentennialCommissionandtheprovincialgovern-meritstobuildcommunityhalls,skatingandcurlingrinks,sportsfields,rodeoarenas,artgalleries,museumsandmonuments,Onetribe,theSoowablieIndianBandofBritishColumbia,decidedtouseitsgranttorestoretheearlypitdwellingsoftheirancestors.TeenageIndianshavebeenincludedintheCommission’soverallYouthTravelProgram,visitingotherpartsofCanadatolearnmoreabouttheirowncountryanditsmulti-racialpopulation.IndianleadersandtheCentennialCommissionagreedthatthereshouldbeaspecialIndianProgramfor1967,onethatwouldfocusontherichheritageofIndiancustoms,legends,stories,songsanddances.AndonethatwouldemphasizetheindispensablecontributionthatCanada’sIndiansmadeinhelpingbuildthenation.Thus,theIndianpeoplehavedevelopedfor1967anoutstandingprogramofpow-wows,sportsmeets,pageants,exhibitionsandceremonialsinallpartsofCanada.Themostimportanteventsarelistedonthefollowingpages.Avisittoanyofthemshouldbemostrewarding—forwhitemenandIndiansalike.June,JulyandAugustAugust5-6August18-19SeptemberALBERTAJuly5-8July21-23August3-6August,4,5,6August11-13Datet.b.a.SASKATCHEWANJune30-July2July7-9July12-16Mid-JulyJuly21-23July28-30August17-20August19-20Datet.b.a.AIh-’rtBayIndianArtandCraftDisplayNorthwestIndianCulturalSociety,CeiitennilIndianDays,HumiltchsenPark,NorthVancouverCapilanoCelebrations,VancouverWarCanoeRaces.VictoriainnerHarbourHobbomaIndianDays,HobbernaBlacklootIndianDays.ClunyBanffIndianDaysSarceeIndianDays---10rn.wostofCalgaryPoiganIndianDaysIndianCelebration-LongviewFileHiltsPow-wow,LorliePrinceAlbertAreaCentennialPow-wow,SturgeonLakeSiouxIndianCelebrationandPow-wow.FortQu’AppelleKamsackPow-wow,KamsackMooseMountainIndianCelebration.CarlyleBattlefordAgencyPow-wow,BattlefordThunderchildCelebrations,ThunderchildMetisSocielyofSaskatchewanCentennialCelebrations,Qu’AppelleIndianCelebration,FlroadviewLfl C’4 ci) I-iBRITISHCOLUMBIAMarch3-5May22June3-4June10-11June17-18AllIndianBasketballTournament,PrinceRupertAllIndianSoccerTournament,VictoriaCultusLakeIndianFestival,ChilliwackKamloopsIndianDaysAlbertBayWarCanoeRacesandSalmonBarbecueNationaltndian-MetisConference.WinnipegFortAlexanderIndianCelebration-NorwayHouseOakRiverPow-wow.GriswoldPipestoneSiouxIndianCelebration,PipestonePortageIaPrairieIndianCelebrationIndianCelebration,MelisofManitobaCanadianIndianYouthCouncilWorkshop,WinnipegSCHEDULEOFINDIANEVENTS-‘1967MANITOBAMarch10-13June8-11July7-8July20-23August4-6August18-20Datet.b.a.Datet,b.a.NativesMustDevelopOwnLeadersLFREDSCOWIVESVIEWSTBANQUETItisuptotheNativepeoplehemselvestodeterminewhattheyantandtoproducetheirowneadershipintheirstruggletochieveit.ThisinspiteoftheactthatmanypeoplehavetheirwnideasofwhattheythinkNarepeoplewant.This,inessence,IswhatAlfredcow,sonofChiefWilliamScowp1AlertBay,toldalargelyNativebodienceatabanquetheldinVanbouver’sGrosvenorflotelMarch8.ThebanquetwasgivenbytheortloAmericanIndianBrotherhoodinappreciationoftheleaderdipcoursefor35chiefsandbandnuncillorsconductedbyUBCcxtensiondepartment.IntroducedbyGeorgeManuel,_____________________________president-of—the-Noith—AmericanindianBrotherhood,Scowrangedthroughprehlstoryandthererves,modernIndustryandeduationInhisreviewofproblemsacingtheNativepeople.EmphasizingtheantiquityofNareculture,hepointedout:“NonecansaywithcertaintyhowanycéntüNeswehaveb&nonhiscontinent,butarchaeologicalings—at—-Yale—trace--our—begin-——ngsback10,000yearsInthisrovence.”qpposingitiOflQLtherervesas“oneoftheeasysoluflflth,,ih,-.,,.b.n“‘ci.‘ci.No.3ALORGANOFTHENATIVEBROTHERHOODOFBITISHCOLUMBIA,’INC.VANCOUVEE,,B.C,MARCH,1962PRICE10CENTSa)______-Pho7o7Ctiiy’7bëFbbThiATTHEBANQUETwerethisquartetofNativeleaders,whichinçludedGeorgeManuel,left,president oftheNorthAmericanIndianBrotherhood,andAlfredScow,guestspeaker.TheothermenareWilliam(Bill)McKay,fromtheNassRivervillageofGreenville,andGeorgeHoustyfromBellaBellaonCampbellIsland.Mr.ManuellivesatChase,andMr.ScowwasoriginallyfromAlertBay.Heisarticledasalawyer.JGS, ANSWERS - GIVEN IN 1927mmilteeRéports_on-Petition-of AIIiedTribes‘rnmary of Aniwar_1. No evidence what.ever has been produced or can the claims made by the interior of Pros’Incr. Their lerrilurintBritain conquered any Indian Special Reportby documentary evidence ihnv three niember,t n GovernmentS Tribes arc precisely those made were elainted as 11w 1’t-oiwrty”Tribe In British Columbia. On IndiGn La svh.,m I a d Ian Departments Indian land rotIns’ey.idings afli 15Cothtt proving that Great. by alt other allied Tribes. ci the Tribe. On both video theStatement that Interior Indians subteet of disrussion wow theAnswers 2. in the Southern. Nigeriacane their Lorduhips of the M Thi.r lime of Tb Millie II brought to Ottawa represented risely she. saute that ,forsneitalt interior Tribes is wholly on. subject of l’etftinn p1 -allied4n,1927 hit Allied JudicIal Committee decided Vr’iir is tvu clv, In Loge j founded. Nat eves, did they Tribes presented in Partlament... t’.lk. Oh. A ourhstj,n r000fl at that die-145- TOTEMS TAKE TRIP TO STORAGE .1••i-ii /fl’S A SAD SIGHT-to see Indian totems removed in pieces from their tittóric sites to newlocations. In many cases, of tourse, it appearsto be necessary if the totems are to he preserved..hut it is nonetheless a tragic sight, symbolic of ‘the passing of an era. The Vancouver Provincepicture shows totem.s heing rensoveel from Uti.versity Boulevard at UBC to temporary storageon the campus.Tlte -totems. will he copied byIndian experts while they are in storage. Mostof the totems nt-c from old villages on the QueenCharlottes and northern Vancouver Island.Figure 27146B. C. GOVERNMENT TRAVELBUREAUVito,1a0 B.C.Figure 28147REFERENCESAbbott,. Don and Richard Inglis. 1991. “A Tradition of Partnership: The RoyalBritish Columbia Museums and First Peoples,” Alberta Museums Review2.17.Ed. The World is as Sharp as a Knife: An Anthology in Honour ofWilson Duff Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum.Adams. Howard. 1975. 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