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Accumulated labours : First Nations art in British Columbia, 1922-1961 Hawker, Ronald W. 1998

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ACCUMULATED LABOURS: FIRST NATIONS ART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1922-1961 by Ronald W. Hawker B.A. (History i n A r t ) , The U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a , 1985 M.A. (History i n A r t ) , The U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a , 1988 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Fine Arts) We accept t h i s _ d i s s e r t a t i o n as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1998 © Ronald W. Hawker 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of fif^S f\Rl 3 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 4 , DE-6 (2/88) Abstract In this dissertation, I chart the conflicting and shifting assertions of meaning for Northwest Coast objects in Canada through a series of representational projects implemented between 1922 and 1961, beginning in January 1922, with the prosecution by the Department of Indian Affairs of participants in the Cranmer potlatch. The intersection between the concept of the 'fatal impact' or death of First Nations societies under European modernization, federal assimilationist policies, the government's exercise of disciplinary control, and the expansion of public museum collections was explicitly illustrated when the Lekwiltok, Mamalillikulla, and the Nimpkish peoples surrendered over seventeen cases of ceremonial objects in exchange for suspended sentences for violating the potlatch ban. The dissertation concludes by examining the Gitanyow agreement, engineered between 1958 and 1961, in which Gitanyow laws, histories and territories would be published by the government of British Columbia in exchange for the removal and replication of four crest poles. The raising of the poles' replicas in 1961 coincided with Canadian parliament's approval of the enfranchisement of First Nations people, the theoretical end to the era of assimilation in Canada. These events bookend a period in which representation continued to be entwined with p o l i t i c a l and social conditions created by the Indian Act that depended on promulgating views that First Nations lifeways were vanishing. However, production of Northwest Coast objects retained significance throughout this period, such objects playing complex and multifaceted roles. i i i Because of the symbolic and financial value many Euro-Canadians attached to First Nations objects, "art" proved an avenue for communicating First Nations-related social, p o l i t i c a l and economic issues. The objects produced or displayed between 1922 and 1961 operated through the projects I describe in the intertwined transformative processes of identity construction and boundary marking among individual First Nations groups and within Canadian national identity. Through these projects, important steps were taken in formulating two major characteristics of the post-1960 period: 1. a burgeoning market in Northwest Coast objects constructed as "traditional;" and 2. First Nations activism for land claims and self-determination using "tradition" and "art" as a platform in activism for land claims and self-determination. i v Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Illustrations v Acknowledgments v i i i INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter One The Cranmer Potlatch and Halliday Display 43 Chapter Two Totem Poles in Stanley Park 77 Chapter Three Northwest Coast 'Art' as National Heritage: 98 Two Federal Projects of the Late 1920s Chapter Four The 'New Deals:' George Raley and 137 Depression-era Reform in British Columbia Chapter Five Alice Ravenhill and the BCIAWS 170 Chapter Six Mathias Joe, Mungo Martin and George 209 Clutesi: 'Art' as Resistance Chapter Seven UBC, the BCPM, and the Totem Pole Carver 255 Training Programme Chapter Eight The Totem Pole Preservation Committee and 286 the Case of the Gitanyow CONCLUSION 328 Bibliography 351 Appendix I Chronology 365 Illustrations 374 L i s t of Illustrations Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15 Figure 16 Figure 17 Figure 18 The two Charlie James houseposts flank the freestanding poles at Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park, Vancouver. (CVA ST.PK.P.196, N.284) A participant from the Cranmer potlatch stands showing his ceremonial regalia for the photograph. (RBCM PN 12195) Potlatch paraphernalia exchanged for suspended sentences displayed in the church hall, Alert Bay, 1922. (RBCM PN 11637) Kwakwaka'wakw coppers on display in the church hal l , Alert Bay, 1922. (RBCM PN 11645) The second Lumberman's Arch replaced the dilapidated original relocated to Stanley Park in 1913. (CVA ARCH.P.62, N.69) Lumberman's Arch in i t s original location. (CVA ARCH.P.12, N.28) The Kwakwaka'wakw poles and houseposts erected opposite Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park. (CVA 506.35) Charlie James and family. (CVA IN.P.122, N.134) Sisaxo'las pole, Stanley Park. (CVA IN.P.192, N.103, #5) Wakius pole, Stanley Park. (CVA IN.103 #3) View of Alert Bay, ca. 1925. (CVA IN.P.183, N.160) Labourers repainting Gitxsan poles for preservation in the Skeena Valley, ca.1925 (CMC No. 65328) Gitxsan pole re-raised as part of preservation project. (CMC No.64327) Poles repainted and re-set in the preservation project. (CMC No.68068) Chief Seamadaks. (CMC No.59726) Portrait of Tom Campbell by Langdon Kihn. (CMC No. 63033) Harlan Smith filming poles. (CMC No.65450) Painting by Frederick Alexie (VMPA 1064) Figure 19 Reverend George Raley and Chief Sepass, 1934. (CVA IN.5, N.9) Figure 20 The Arrival of the Three Chiefs by Sis-hu-lk (Francois Batiste), from The Tale of the Nativity. Figure 21 The Origin of the Wolf Society, by Judith Morgan, 1947. (BC Archives and Records Service Photo #PD00519) Figure 22 Ellen Neel and family carving a totem pole at the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, ca. 1950. (CVA 180-1849) Figure 23 Model pole by Ellen Neel. (CVA IN.P.94, N.46 #2) Figure 24 Captain Jack pole, Yuquot, 1929. (CVA IN.P.38, N.151) Figure 25 Vancouver Golden Jubilee letterhead showing hourglass motif, 1936. (CVA City Clerk's Department Fonds, Series 20, Subject Files 1886-1976, Loc. 16-F-2, File 8) Figure 26 The Dssookwa-dse or Yahk-dsi pole, Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park, 1936. (CVA IN.P.192, N.103, #4) Figure 27 Figure 2 8 Figure 29 Figure 30 Figure 31 Figure 32 Figure 33 Figure 34 The Nhe-is-bik pole, Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park, 1936. (CVA IN.P.192, N.103, #7) Ths Skedans pole, Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park, 1936. (CVA IN.P.192, N.103, #6) The Mathias Joe pole, Prospect Point, Stanley Park, 1936. (CVA IN.P.192, N.103, #1) General view of Prospect Point, 1936. (CVA 260-974) Mungo Martin pole presented to Governor-General Viscount Alexander, 1946, and now standing at Rideau Hall, Ottawa. (National Capital Commission) Painting by George Clutesi, 1948. (UBC MOA) Mungo Martin, standing, and Norman Mackenzie, seated at right, at the opening of the University of British Columbia's Totem Pole Park. (UBC MOA) Mungo and David Martin received wood donated by Macmillan-Bloedel, ca. 1952. (BC Archives and Records Service Photo #1-26989) Figure 35 Wa'waditla, Thunderbird Park, Victoria. (RBCM PN VI1 Figure 36 Figure 37 Figure 38 Figure 39 Figure 40 Figure 41 Figure 42 Figure 43 Figure 44 Figure 45 Figure 4 6 Figure 47 Figure 48 Figure 49 Figure 50 Figure 51 13195-10) Totem Pole Preservation Committee members survey poles at Tanu, ca. 1955. (RBCM PN 7500) Tanu pole sawed in sections for removal. (RBCM PN 5817) Tanu poles sectioned and crated for shipment on a seiner. (RBCM PN 7515) World's Tallest Totem Pole, Beacon H i l l Park, Victoria. (BC Archives and Records Service Photo #1-26586) Replica Skedans pole carved by Mungo Martin and B i l l Reid at the White Rock-Blaine border crossing. (RBCM PN 15850) B i l l Reid and Doug Cranmer, UBC, 1957. (UBC MOA) Replica Haida village by Reid and Cranmer, UBC. (UBC MOA) Ha-ne-lal-gag pole, Gitanyow, ca. 1958. (RBCM PN 7031) Ha-ne-lal-gag, Gitanyow. (RBCM PN 7103) Detail of Ha-ne- lal-gag, Gitanyow. (RBCM PN 7086) The two Wolf poles, Gitanyow. (RBCM PN 3995) The Nee-gamks pole, Gitanyow. (RBCM PN 7075) A replica of the Nee-gamks pole, Victoria. (RBCM PN 15840) The four poles replicated for Gitanyow, ca. 1961. (RBCM PN 12985-3) The Thunderbird Park sign posts by Mungo Martin. (BC Archives and Records Service Photo #1-21002) Map of Northwest Coast groups and communities (from Peter Macnair, Robert Joseph, and Bruce Grenville, Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast, Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and Mclntyre 1998, p.13.) v i i i Acknowledgments There have been two people whose help has been absolutely essential to the completion of this project. The f i r s t is my wife Laila. Her aid has extended beyond moral (and financial) support to seven years of dinner time (and every other time) conversations that have continually shaped and re-shaped not only my approach to the material in this dissertation, but also to the world at large. She has also contributed greatly by sharing her personal research. I thank her as well about warning me of the problems in the dissertation and its writing, even though I was too obstinate in following my own path to pay close enough attention. It would be no overstatement to say that without her I would not have finished this dissertation. The other is my friend Don Bains, whose generosity in sharing his ideas is only surpassed by his generosity in sharing archival sources. I thank him particularly for making available his personal research materials from the archives of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. This dissertation has developed c r i t i c a l l y from the teaching, writing, comments, criticism, and guidance of my supervisory committee, Drs. Marvin Cohodas, John O'Brian, and Marjorie Halpin. In addition to their professional expertise, their support has also extended to my family - support that was both unexpected and greatly appreciated. I have been surrounded by people whose interest and logistical support have facilitated my research and writing, especially: Dr. James Caswell, Dr. Maureen Ryan, Jennifer Cullen and Patsi Longmire at the Department of Fine Arts, and Jennifer Webb at the Museum of Anthropology. Thanks to the staffs of the Royal British Columbia Museum (especially Allan Hoover and Dan Savard), the Vancouver City Archives (Carol Haber), the Museum of Anthropology (Anna Pappalardo), BC Information Management Services (Kelly Nolin), the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Louis Campeau), the National Archives of Canada, and Rick Sabourin of the National Capital Commission for their prompt and courteous service. I have also been privileged to have received funding for my studies from the University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada I thank as well Dr. Richard Atleo for his advice at the beginning of a l l this and for taking me to see the Montreal Canadiens in a snow storm. The fact that he took time to listen to me meant everything at a very fragile time. I'd like to thank those in my classes at UBC, Douglas College, the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Capilano College, and the University of Manitoba during the times I was writing this dissertation. Although very few will get to read this, so often I felt that I was learning more from them than them from me and this sustained my double l i f e as a student. While teaching frequently interrupted my writing, the many students who have shown such great enthusiasm for the issues we discussed in class have simultaneously i x informed and inspired me. While teaching in the Fine Arts Department at UBC I was lucky enough as well to have the support of the department in bringing in guest speakers whose presentations were enormously influential in my approach to the material in the dissertation. While they were not speaking directly about the subject, their passion for their own art and their conviction in i t s significance were c r i t i c a l to the ways in which I have thought about the diversity of institutional and individual representations of Northwest Coast art. I am particularly grateful for the generosity of Norman Tait and Lucinda Turner, Joe David, Lyle Wilson, Barb Cranmer, and Debbie Sparrow in sharing their work and their ideas. Thanks go to my friends and fellow students at UBC who have alternately inspired, humoured, and morally supported me, especially Victor Semerjian, Pam Brown, Sandy Bardsley, and Maureen Milburn. The chance to hear the ideas of Marcia Crosby and Ron Hamilton in both formal seminars and informal conversations helped shape the way I approached this topic, especially at the beginning, and the kinds of questions I chose to pursue. Other friends and family who have both knowingly and unknowingly helped me along include: my mother and father, Norah and B i l l , who made i t possible to go on in more ways than they know; my big sister, Lynn, and my parents-in-law, Zheni and Hidokht Parandeh, whose wise words and belief in my abilities were like a l i f e jacket; Dom Marner, whose timely phone calls from abroad buoyed my spirits when I needed i t the most; my sons Arya and Siina whose unconditional love and words have so simply and clearly given me solutions to problems I thought too complex to solve; Ross (for that time when I almost had to pull over -what's that they say about laughter being the best medicine?); Tom, Barb, Kimberly, Aimee, Amir, Shelley, Chewie, A l i , Hossein, Patti, Bijan, Sean, Kambiz, and Greg (all of whom put up with me when I was far too brooding and intense for my own (or anybody else's) good). 1 INTRODUCTION House posts carved by C h a r l i e James and erected i n Stanley Park as t o u r i s t i c symbols of Vancouver ( f i g u r e 1) once served as props i n Edward C u r t i s ' s f i c t i o n a l i z e d Kwakwaka'wakw romance In the Land of the Headhunters. 1 Before that, they stood i n the house of Tsa-wee-nok of Kingcome I n l e t , 2 powerful symbols i n h e r i t e d through the Kwakwaka'wakw ceremonial c y c l e that r e f e r r e d to a my t h i c a l time when the boundaries between s p i r i t and human realms were f l u i d - a time, not c o i n c i d e n t a l l y , when the founding ancestors of lineage groups r e c e i v e d g i f t s of access to resource s i t e s and other forms of s p i r i t u a l and t e r r e s t r i a l w ealth. 3 At each moment, i n each context, the meanings p r o j e c t e d through the house posts by the various patrons had d i s t i n c t i v e resonances to t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e audiences. There i s not one over-arching n a r r a t i v e that s a t i s f a c t o r i l y e x p l a i n s and encapsulates the meanings the obj e c t s of the Northwest Coast 4 have had. 1. B i l l Holm and George I r v i n g Quimby, Edward S. C u r t i s i n the Land of the War Canoes: A Pioneer Cinematographer i n the P a c i f i c Northwest, Vancouver: Douglas and Mclntyre 1980. 2. P h i l Nuytten, The Totem Carvers: C h a r l i e James, E l l e n Neel and Mungo Martin, Vancouver: Panorama Pub l i c a t i o n s 1982, p.29. 3. Ma r j o r i e M. Halpin, Totem Poles: An I l l u s t r a t e d Guide, Vancouver and London: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Museum of Anthropology Museum Note Number 3 1981, p.8. 4. Following the d e f i n i t i o n put forward by Wayne S u t t l e s , the Northwest Coast "culture area...includes the north P a c i f i c Coast of North America from the Copper River d e l t a on the Gulf of Alaska to the Winchuk River near the Oregon-California border, extending i n l a n d to the Chugach and Saint E l i a s ranges of Alaska, the Coast 2 In t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , I chart the c o n f l i c t i n g and s h i f t i n g a s s e r t i o n s of meaning for Northwest Coast o b j e c t s i n Canada through a s e r i e s of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l p r o j e c t s implemented between 1922 and 1961. In January 1922, Canadian a u t h o r i t i e s w i t h the Department of Indian A f f a i r s prosecuted p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the Cranmer p o t l a t c h of l a t e 1921. The Cranmer prosecutions represent the severest implementation of the f e d e r a l government's p o t l a t c h ban and have become a symbol of the systematic a t t a c k on F i r s t Nations i n s t i t u t i o n s c a r r i e d out by Canadian government a u t h o r i t i e s . In 1961, Canadian parliament approved the f e d e r a l enfranchisement of F i r s t Nations people, thus s i g n a l i n g a t h e o r e t i c a l end to the era of a s s i m i l a t i o n i n Canada. These events bookend a p e r i o d p e r c e i v e d i n most a r t h i s t o r i c a l t e x t s as the "Dark Ages of Northwest Coast a r t . " 5 In c o n t r a s t , I argue that the functions Northwest Coast o b j e c t s Mountains of B r i t i s h Columbia, and the Cascade Region of Washington and Oregon." (Wayne S u t t l e s , "Introduction," i n Wayne S u t t l e s , e d i t o r , Handbook of North American Indians: Volume 7 : Northwest Coast, Washington: Smithsonian 1990, p.l.) The F i r s t Nations language groups of B r i t i s h Columbia r e f e r r e d to under t h i s r u b r i c include from north to south: Haida, Tsimshian, Nisga'a, Gitxsan (Gitksan), Haisla, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Oweekeno, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, D i t i d a h t , and the Salishan-speaking (Salish) Halkomelem, Squamish, and S t r a i t s S a l i s h (Homalco, Klahoose, Sliammon, Comox, Qualicum, Se'shalt, Sne-Nay-Muxw, Squamish, Quwutsun', Sto:lo, Semiahmoo, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Tswassen, T'Sou-ke, Esquimalt, Songhees, Saanich, and Coquitlam) (From " F i r s t Nations of B r i t i s h Columbia," Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Museum of Anthropology Map Project March 5, 1996, n.p.) 5. Anthropologist Wilson Duff, f o r one, i d e n t i f i e d the a r t i s t i c climax of the northern Northwest Coast as oc c u r r i n g between 1850 and 1880 and among the Kwakwaka'wakw between 1890 and 1920. (Wilson Duff, "Contexts of Northwest Coast A r t , " i n Vancouver A r t G a l l e r y , Arts of the Raven: Masterworks of the Northwest Coast Indian, Vancouver: Vancouver A r t G a l l e r y 1965.) played i n t h i s era were complex and m u l t i f a c e t e d . This p e r i o d i s f u r t h e r important to subsequent developments i n Northwest Coast a r t h i s t o r y . Neither s o l e l y and simply v e s t i g e s of an i r r e t r i e v a b l e past nor symbolic markers of a n c e s t r a l encounters w i t h the s p i r i t world, the objects produced or d i s p l a y e d between 1922 and 1961 operated s i g n i f i c a n t l y through the p r o j e c t s I d e s c r i b e i n the i n t e r t w i n e d transformative processes of i d e n t i t y c o n s t r u c t i o n and boundary marking among i n d i v i d u a l F i r s t Nations groups and w i t h i n Canadian n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y . Through these p r o j e c t s , important steps were taken i n f o r m u l a t i n g two major c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the post-1960 p e r i o d : 1. a burgeoning market i n Northwest Coast objects c o n s t r u c t e d as " t r a d i t i o n a l ; " and 2. F i r s t Nations a c t i v i s m f o r land claims and s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n using " t r a d i t i o n " and " a r t " as a p l a t f o r m f o r such a s s e r t i o n s . I w i l l be focusing my d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s p e r i o d on p u b l i c uses of Northwest Coast objects by c o n f l i c t i n g groups f o r the furtherance of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r agendas, whether these are F i r s t Nations groups, or whether they are l o c a l , p r o v i n c i a l , or f e d e r a l governments or i n s t i t u t i o n s . My view i s from a d i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n i n the viewing c i r c l e around Northwest Coast o b j e c t s . I w i l l a l s o be producing a n a r r a t i v e and s e l e c t i n g a canon to i l l u s t r a t e i t , but w i t h a set of d i f f e r e n t agendas, i n c l u d i n g arguing f o r the p o l i t i c a l use of o b j e c t s r a t h e r than a e s t h e t i c or a u t h e n t i c i t y judgements. 4 I. "Fatal Impact:" The Tropes of Decline and Revival A common academic perception has emerged since the 1950s that sees the history of Northwest Coast art as a nineteenth century climax (often referred to, following European art his t o r i c a l models, as the "classic" period), an early twentieth century decline and mid-twentieth century renaissance. The period following the First World War is deemed in this paradigm as the lowest ebb of the peoples of the coast: swamped by the influence of white assimilation, the people l e f t directionless, confused and sick with newly-introduced diseases, the communities and their modes of symbolic expression being for a l l intents and purposes dead. This was a time, according to Margaret Blackman, when a visitor on the Northwest Coast, "would have to go to a museum to see an example of good Northwest Coast Indian art" 6 (emphasis mine). As recently as 1993, Peter Macnair, curator at the Royal British Columbia Museum, suggested that among the arts of the Northwest Coast, "...the classic forms either disappeared altogether or were replaced by substitute styles." 7 An a r t i s t i c hierarchy was set up in which products outside the discursive poles of "tradition" and 6. Edwin S. Hall, Margaret B. Blackman, and Vincent Rickard, Northwest Coast Indian Graphics: An Introduction to Silk Screen Prints, Vancouver: Douglas and Maclntyre 1981, p.45. 1. Peter Macnair, "Trends in Northwest Coast Indian Art 1880-1959: Decline and Expansion," in Canadian Museum of Civilization, In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art, Ottawa: Canadian Ethnology Service Mercury Series Paper 124 1993, p. 51. 5 "authenticity" were categorized, in Macnair's words, as "...consistently well-finished charming souvenirs..." that "...lack the v i t a l i t y of the older school." 8 In the same recent anthology, Martine Reid concurs, suggesting that "post-classic" Northwest Coast art "...has become a pseudo-language shared and produced by an elite because the created objects no longer signify potent cultural messages. They merely reproduce or imitate past objects and concepts that are not culturally relevant to the present society. Art has lost i t s sign value." 9 In the "revival" view, projects aimed at communicating the value of First Nations art to a general non-Native Canadian audience were made possible in the 1950s and 1960s through a greater allocation of public funds. Within this context of institutional interest, the idea of a mid-century renaissance, what Halpin referred to as an "enthusiastic revival," 1 0 began to emerge. In 1967 a cross-country network of artists ranging in style and geographic origin from George Clutesi on the west coast of Vancouver Island to Norval Morrisseau in Ontario was formed through preparations for the Indian Pavilion at Expo ' 67 in Montreal. 1 1 Also in 1967, B i l l Reid, Henry Hunt, and other a. Ibid, p.57. 9. Martine Reid, "In Search of Things Past, Remembered, Retraced, and Reinvented," in Shadow of the Sun, p.76. Here, Reid uses a semiotic framework based on an underlying paradigm of precontact height and contact contamination effectively refuted in Bennetta Jules-Rosette, The Messages of Tourist Art, 1984, p.219. 1 0. Halpin, Totem Poles, p.2. 1 1. Tom H i l l , "Indian Art in Canada: An Historical Perspective, " in Norval Morrisseau and the Emergence of the Image 6 contemporary Northwest Coast artists received recognition through their display next to the work of Charles Edenshaw (who died in 1920) 1 2 and other, mostly anonymous, masters of the "classic" nineteenth and early twentieth century Northwest Coast formline style 1 3 at the Arts of the Raven exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. 1 4 In 1968, with two-thirds of i t s funding coming from government grants and other donations, the 'Ksan Historic Indian Village Association proudly opened i t s museum, reconstructed village and accompanying Kitanmax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art. 1 5 Popular support of First Nations art a l l across Canada was fuelling, according to the new Makers, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario 1985, pp.20-21. 1 2. B i l l Holm, "Will the Real Charles Edenshaw Please Stand Up?: The Problem of Attribution in Northwest Coast Indian Art," in Donald Abbott, editor, The World as Sharp as a Knife: An Anthology in Honour of Wilson Duff, Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum 1981, p.177. 1 3. The term formline and the system of representation i t alludes to was most systematically defined by B i l l Holm in Northwest Coast A r t : An Analysis of Form, S e a t t l e : University of Washington Press 1965. Holm in turn had considerable influence on the direction followed in the Arts of the Raven show. Holm himself called Northwest Coast Art; An Analysis of Form "a turning point...which became a primer for the artists struggling for an understanding of their ancestors' art." (Bill Holm, "Art," in Suttles, Handbook, p.630.) 1 4. This show had significant influence on the perception of Northwest Coast objects over the next decade. Writing in 1975, for example, Marjorie Halpin dated the consideration of Northwest Coast objects as art specifically to the Arts of the Raven exhibit (Marjorie Halpin, "The Uses of Collections," in University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Northwest Coast Indian Artifacts from the H. R. MacMillan Collections in the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press 1975, p.43.) 1 5. 'Ksan Association, 'Ksan, Hazelton, B.C., Hazelton, B.C.: 'Ksan Association 1970, pp.12-24. 7 "revival" myth, the re-emergence of "traditional" Northwest Coast art. Both Expo '67 and the Arts of the Raven shows received substantial amounts of government and corporate money as part of the centennial celebration. 1 6 One might therefore suggest that the expansion of Canada's cultural infrastructure in the 1960s and 1970s through a combination of increased public spending and public/private sector cooperation stimulated the "revival;" that "...museum- and government-supported projects for the restoration or recreation of 'traditional' objects that the Indians had largely ceased producing" 1 7 were successful. 'Ksan and the Kitenmaax art school have been called "satellite museums,"18 part of the federal government's cultural "democratization and decentralization" programme announced in 1 6. Schafer and Fortier report that several million federal dollars were allocated to national and international a r t i s t i c events, including Expo '67, which were seen as an adjunct to the Centennial Celebrations. (Paul D. Schafer and Andre Fortier, Review of Federal Policies for the Arts in Canada (1944-1988), Ottawa: Canadian Conference of the Arts 1989.) Both governmental and corporate sponsors were acknowledged in the inside covers of the Arts of the Raven catalogue. These included the Canada Council, the Centennial Commission, the Vancouver Foundation, BC Tel, Canadian Forest Products, Japan External Trade Organization, and MacMillan-Bloedel. 1 7. Wayne Suttles and Aldona Jonaitis, "History of Research in Ethnology," in Suttles, Handbook, p.82. 1 8. George Woodcock writes of 'Ksan as one of the "programs of dissemination that were artistically and ethnographically educative without having any identifiable political intent" begun by the Trudeau administration in the late 1960s. (George Woodcock, Strange Bedfellows: The State and the Arts in Canada, Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and Mclntyre 1985, p.105.) 8 1968,19 i t s e l f an institutional premonition of Canada's symbolic shift to o f f i c i a l state multiculturalism in 1971 and the acknowledgement of non-English and non-French contributions to Canadian national "culture." 2 0 Exhibitions in public institutions further appear ito have encouraged the private acquisitions of contemporary First Nations art. In connecting the impact of large exhibitions on a new audience following 1967, Tom H i l l , in his history of Native Canadian art, commented that: "...exhibitions of material culture and contemporary art further enhanced and popularized the ethnic identity for the consumer. Whether out of genuine appreciation, guilt over past sins, or a need to acquire something Canadian, the art-buying public chose to look at the new art emerging from Indian communities as a significant statement from a fellow Canadian."21 An example of the 1 9. The "democratization and decentralization" was announced by Secretary of State Gerard Pelletier at a seminar organized by the Canadian Conference of the Arts and the United States Associated Council of Arts in 1969. The objectives of the programme as a state cultural policy were to spread cultural institutions and the management of cultural industries outside of Ottawa and central Canada and at the same time foster cultural pluralism in Canada and both federal-provincial and international cooperation in the promotion of Canadian arts. (See Schafer and Fortier, Review of Federal Policies for the Arts in Canada.) 2 0. In announcing multiculturalism as state policy on October 8, 1971, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stated: "The policy I am announcing today accepts the contention of the other cultural communities that they, too, are essential elements in Canada and deserve government assistance in order to contribute to regional and national l i f e in ways that derive from their heritage and yet are distinctly Canadian." (Quoted in Valerie Knowles, Strangers at Our Gates: Canadian Immigration and Immigration Policy, 1540-1990, Toronto and Oxford, Dundurn Press 1992, p.168.) 2 1. H i l l , "Indian Art in Canada", pp.20-21. 9 principles of state capitalism applied to "cultural products," 2 2 public funding in essence bolstered a burgeoning private market. In this view, state sponsorship of First Nations production through displays in public cultural institutions allowed for widespread public exposure. The Cultural Affairs Division within the Department of Indian Affairs was established in 1967 and was responsible for publishing articles, producing exhibitions, establishing a permanent collection and undertaking a series of market evaluations on the work of several First Nations a r t i s t s . 2 3 My dissertation shifts the focus of this narrative away from a celebration of the public institutional support for a "revival" of First Nations arts. Even the strongest proponents of the "renaissance" myth admit that certain groups never ceased producing ceremonial objects 2 4 and the question of why the state 2 2. Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee, Summary of Briefs and Hearings, Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services Canada, p.5. 2 3. Ibid. 2 4. B i l l Holm singles out the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) as continuing the production of ceremonial objects (Holm, "Art," p.630), which is supported by other texts examining the open flaunting of the potlatch ban by the Kwakwaka'wakw (see, for example, Douglas Cole and Ira Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People: The Law Against the Potlatch on the Northwest Coast, Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and Mclntyre and Seattle: University of Washington Press 1990.) The Gitxsan, as reported by Barbeau, continued to erect and potlatch poles into the 1940s. Spirit dancing among the Coast Salish peoples of southern Vancouver Island was documented by Duff in the 1940s and Nuu-chah-nulth individuals like Ron Hamilton and Joe David have challenged the suggestion that ceremonialism died out among the Nuu-chah-nulth. The supposition that First Nations ceremonies have had to have been revived needs closer, more c r i t i c a l examination. 10 would f i r s t openly ban the raison-d'etre of ceremonial First Nations objects in British Columbia and then later invest public funds in the production of the same kinds of objects needs addressing. Both the pre-1950 narrative of "cultural death" and the post-1950 assertion of "decline and revival" have been openly contested by First Nations carvers and painters. In 1948, Kwakwaka'wakw Ellen Neel firmly stated: This point of mine which I shall endeavour to illustrate deals with an idea that the native art is a dead art and that efforts should be confined to preservation of the old work. To me, this idea is one of the great fallacies where the art of my people is concerned. For i f our art i s dead, then i t is f i t only to be mummified, packed into mortuary boxes and tucked away into museums. Whereas to me i t is a livin g symbol.... And our art must continue to live, for not only i s i t part and parcel of us, but i t can be a powerful factor in combining the best of the Indian culture into the fabric of a truly Canadian art form. . . . i f the art of my people is to take i t s rightful place alongside other Canadian art, i t must be a living medium of expression. We, the Indian artists must be allowed to create! We must be allowed to use new and modern techniques; new and modern tools; new and modern materials....I do not mean that we should discard the old, only that we be allowed to use the new.25 In 1983, another Kwakwaka'wakw carver, Tony Hunt, pointing to the less than a l t r u i s t i c intentions of museum curators, also suggested through his own experiences that the "revival" narrative was false: It was in the seventies that museum curators 2 5. Ellen Neel, in H. B. Hawthorn, editor, Report of Conference on Native Indian Affairs, Victoria: British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society 1948, p. 12. 11 recognized Northwest Coast art both as public relations and promotion for their own museums and as promotion of themselves. Before that, during the f i f t i e s and sixties, curators and ethnologists had a low profile. Mungo Martin who taught and raised me (and with whom I moved to Victoria in 1952) - to say to him there was a "revival" or "renaissance" would be ridiculous. He carved a l l his l i f e , my father, myself, others like Willie Seaweed, who was one of the finest artists of his time. There was no revival. 2 6 First Nations p o l i t i c a l leader George Manuel and writer Michael Postums implied in 1974 that both "death" and "revival" views were colonialist in nature, aimed at denigrating the social and p o l i t i c a l accomplishments of First Nations people from the advent of a European presence in Brit i s h Columbia: The renaissance of today is the f r u i t of the accumulated labour of our grandfathers. If i t appears that we are only now awakening and discovering a new strength, i t is because the current climate of p o l i t i c a l , social and economic forces is allowing what was always beneath the surface to emerge: into the light of day. Above a l l , the appearance that we are only now coming alive i s an illu s i o n created by the press and public institutions, who have for so long warped, distorted, and f a l s i f i e d the story of our resistance. 2 7 It is significant that Manuel, once president of the North American Indian Brotherhood, tied the concept of "cultural renaissance" to larger social developments. It is precisely this kind of wider self-conscious contextualization that i s 2 6. Tony Hunt and Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, "Personal Perspectives," in Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983, Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery 1983, p.266. 2 7. George Manuel and Michael Postums, The Fourth World: An Indian Reality, Don Mills, Ontario: Collier-Macmillan Canada 1974, pp.69-70. 12 missing in Northwest Coast art history and that this dissertation seeks to address. In explaining this absence, Aldona Jonaitis underlines "certain central assumptions"28 behind some of the early anthropology of the Northwest Coast. It has been commonly assumed "...that Native people had, prior to contact, lived in unified, cohesive communities and shared common values; that the inherent perfection of their culture disintegrated, as the overwhelming forces of the dominant society caused f i r s t a decline and then the disappearance of their traditions, including art; that on the northern Northwest Coast in particular, the loss of a r t i s t i c competence was reversed only when individuals from outside the cultures rediscovered earlier s t y l i s t i c conventions." 2 9 Jonaitis then warns that "...by depicting Native peoples as succumbing to the forces of acculturation, such representations implicitly grant...the dominant society a cultural hegemony over those i t colonized." 3 0 Nelson Graburn adds that "...even though Fourth World peoples may c a l l themselves nations... they have neither the autonomy nor the institutionalized power to define their own national symbols, arts, and culture." 3 1 Bound by the paternalism 2 8. Aldona Jonaitis, "Traders of Tradition: The History of Haida Art," Robert Davidson: Eagle of the Dawn, Ed. Ian M. Thorn, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1993, p.3. 2 9. Ibid, pp.3-4. 3 0. Ibid, p.4. 3 1. Graburn, " "The Fourth World and Fourth World Art," Shadow of the Sun p.2. 13 of the Indian Act, First Nations peoples have been represented through the inter-related institutionalized discourses of anthropology, museums, and art history. Valda Blundell argues that "...certain representations encoded in anthropological discourse recur in the media...because anthropology has been constructed in the West as the primary producer of knowledge about so-called 'primitive' peoples." Anthropologists and their texts constitute...'accredited sources' and 'primary definers' of social phenomena regarding native Canadians."32 There is a continuum of representation of First Nations arts that also reflects a wide range of interests and concerns in non-Native society. While anthropologists, like social reformers, were frequently sympathetic with the peoples and societies they were studying, their work, as part of this larger totality, was often compromised. The representation of First Nations societies is and has been disputed territory. The notions of decline, revival, and continuity are thus strategic interventions in the understanding of First Nations peoples and their position in Canadian society. They are statements from a complex polyphony asserting, negotiating, and disputing the various representations and counter-representations of Northwest Coast art and, through i t , of First Nations peoples. I agree with Jonaitis' argument that these assumptions of purity and disintegration in First Nations Valda Blundell, "Speaking the Art of Canada's Native Peoples: Anthropological Discourse and the Media," Australian Canadian Studies, 7:1 (1989), p.25. 14 culture have created absences in the discourses of art through discussions centred solely on "classic" form and iconography. I want to investigate production and public engagement through the arts and not quality as inappropriately determined by outsiders. Following Homi Bhabha's connection between stereotyping and colonialist discourse, I argue that the institutionalization of Northwest Coast objects in Canadian displays between 1922 and 1961 produced First Nations peoples as a visible and knowable other. 3 3 Part of a larger narrative about First Nations societies, the discourse produced a "concept of f i x i t y " 3 4 for Northwest Coast peoples in the location of their objects as part of the past. Masks, poles and other objects were thus constructed and contained within the state "culture" system. Bhabha, quoting Fanon, further argues that this enclosed, temporal f i x i t y becomes for the colonized "...a continued agony rather than a total disappearance. The culture once l i v i n g and open to the future, becomes closed, fixed in the colonial status, caught in the yolk [sic] of oppression." 3 5 Temporal enclosure contributed to intellectual paternalism. For example, written material promoting the erection of the Charlie James house posts in Stanley Park in 1925 made no mention of the fact that James was s t i l l alive at the time. He 3 3. Homi K. Bhabha, "The Other Question: Stereotype, Discrimination and the Discourse of Colonialism," in Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture, London and New York: Routledge 1994, pp.70-71. 3 4. Ibid, p.71. 3 5. Frantz Fanon, quoted in Ibid, p.78. 15 frequently visited Vancouver and was known to local curio dealers. 3 6 Instead, the house posts were specifically discussed as objects of antiquity, fixed in the past and thereby denying contemporary First Nations peoples in general, and James in particular, a voice in how these objects were constructed for Euro-Canadian audiences. This intellectual paternalism confirmed administrative paternalism. Bhabha further explains that the stereotype is bolstered by a continual and repetitive chain of other stereotypes. 3 7 In response to this chain of stereotypes that together constituted the general ideological understanding of a mythical "Indian problem" - that "the Indian" is superstitious, dirty, idle, and although creative, nonetheless a public burden - a chain of paternalistic governmental strategies could be formulated and j u s t i f i e d . These included, among others, the introduction of Christianity and enforced education, government housing, employment, and preservation through the museum. A l l aimed at solving the "Indian problem" by i n s t i l l i n g Anglo-Canadian values as a means of producing docile subjects for Canada's p o l i t i c a l and economic systems. The emergence of institutions and of a discourse on Northwest Coast objects in Canada are not coincidental to, but rather integrally a part of the formulation of and response to what was commonly known as the "Indian problem." However, . Nuytten, The Totem Carvers, pp.26-32. 3 7. Bhabha, "The Other Question," p.77. 16 r e s i s t a n c e to the concept of the "Indian problem" and to the s o l u t i o n s recommended f o r i t was not passive. D i s r u p t i o n occurred at each l i n k i n t h i s d i s c u r s i v e chain. Because of non-Native i n t e r e s t i n the house posts carved by James and other various forms of v i s u a l production, o p p o r t u n i t i e s opened f o r other people to speak through the o b j e c t s . A r t became a p l a t f o r m f o r those opposed to the nature of government paternalism, Native and non-Native, and new r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s were asserted. 17 I I . Assimilation, Museums, and N a t i o n a l i s t Appropriation The mythic tropes of d e c l i n e and r e v i v a l confirmed the a u t h o r i t y of s t a t e i n s t i t u t i o n s and those i n d i v i d u a l s that formulated the discourse of Northwest Coast ob j e c t s from w i t h i n them. C o n t i n u i t y and the a p p r o p r i a t i o n of the r e v i v a l concept could be used to s t r e s s or l e g i t i m i z e contemporary F i r s t Nations l e a d e r s h i p and p o l i t i c a l c l a i ms. Making sense of the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n the discourses around these o b j e c t s t h e r e f o r e c a l l s f o r an understanding of the h i s t o r i c a l s p e c i f i c i t y of the discourses and t h e i r s h i f t s , or as Nicholas Thomas puts i t , of the "ruptures... that mark the emergence and displacement of p a r t i c u l a r ways of c o n s t r u c t i n g others and r e l a t i n g to them." 3 8 At the heart of these ruptures are the d i f f e r e n t ways of understanding, f i r s t , Northwest Coast s o c i e t i e s , and, second, t h e i r r e l a t i o n to official Canadian " c u l t u r e . " As a n t h r o p o l o g i s t V i r g i n i a Dominguez notes, c u l t u r e i s so s i g n i f i c a n t s o c i a l l y because we so o f t e n make s t r a t e g i c s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l i n t e r v e n t i o n s by invoking i t . 3 9 Dominguez f u r t h e r Nicholas Thomas, Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology, Travel and Government, Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press 1994, p.32. 3 9. V i r g i n i a Dominguez, "Invoking Culture: The Messy Side of ' C u l t u r a l P o l i t i c s , ' " South A t l a n t i c Quarterly, 91:1 (Winter 1992), p.20. Northrop Frye suggested: "Perhaps only i n t e l l e c t u a l s worry about c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s , and perhaps only because they have invented most of i t themselves." (Northrop Frye, "National Conciousness i n Canadian Culture," i n James Polk, e d i t o r , D i v i s i o n s on a Ground: Essays on Canadian Culture, Toronto: Anansi 1982, p.42.) In the case of F i r s t Nations peoples 18 a s s e r t s that c u l t u r e i s i m p l i c a t e d i n " n a t i o n a l i s t v i s i o n s , n a t i o n a l i s t i d e o l o g i e s , and n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t i e s . . . , " 4 0 This i s e x e m p l i f i e d i n the st a t e funding f o r Northwest Coast objects i n the 1960s and, as I s h a l l demonstrate, even e a r l i e r . In an argument th a t I b e l i e v e i s borne out by the development of Northwest Coast a r t discourse i n B r i t i s h Columbia, Dominguez suggests t h a t governments as s e r t t h e i r say over the shape of t h e i r p o p u l a t i o n s ' c u l t u r e s because they l i n k the idea of c u l t u r e w i t h r e s p e c t a b i l i t y , u n i t y and the minimization of d i v i s i v e n e s s , a l i n k c r i t i c a l to i n t e r n a t i o n a l perception of n a t i o n a l images. 4 1 The n a r r a t i v e s f o r Northwest Coast " c u l t u r e " are thus unstable, at l e a s t i n p a r t , because of the contested nature of these same n a t i o n a l i s t v i s i o n s , i d e o l o g i e s , and i d e n t i t i e s . The very n o t i o n of " c u l t u r e " i t s e l f i s problematic because the term since Boas has commonly suggested "sameness and shared understanding" when a p p l i e d to n o n - c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s . 4 2 For Northwest Coast o b j e c t s , d i s c u r s i v e c o n f l i c t demonstrates t h a t sameness cannot be assumed. For example, the idea of the passing of F i r s t Nations s o c i e t i e s i s the l i n g e r i n g e f f e c t of s o c i a l e v o l u t i o n a r y i n Canada, however, c u l t u r a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s i s important to a s s e r t i n g a h i s t o r i c a l presence and thus legitimacy f o r claims to an a u t h o r i t y over land and resources that precedes the European presence and i t s i n s t i t u t i o n a l systems. 4 0. Dominguez, "Invoking Culture," p.21. 4 1. I b i d . 4 2. I b i d . 19 i d e o l o g i e s popular among Euro-Americans i n the l a t e nineteenth century and the b e l i e f i n the e x p i r a t i o n of s o - c a l l e d p r i m i t i v e c u l t u r e s i n the dynamism of a European-derived i n d u s t r i a l modernity, the same underlying ideologies that informed a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t p o l i c i e s i n both Canada and the United States p r i o r to the Great Depression. While totem poles and other indigenous objects could be seen to symbolize a unique Canadian i d e n t i t y , i n non-Native contexts they were s p e c i f i c a l l y meant to r e f e r to an imagined Canadian past, to suggest what Canadian c u l t u r e no longer was - although modern Canada had no place f o r the indigenous meanings behind the poles' o r i g i n a l p r o d u c t i o n . 4 3 As Walter Benn Michaels argues i n r e l a t i o n to the Nativ e American as a n a t i o n a l i s t trope i n the United States, F i r s t Nations o b j e c t s helped define Canada's uniqueness to other i n t e r n a t i o n a l i n d u s t r i a l n a t i o n s . 4 4 Marvin Cohodas w r i t e s : " [ t ] h e modernization paradigm operates here: w i t h homogenized g l o b a l c a p i t a l i s m and labor r e l a t i o n s c h a r a c t e r i z i n g the modern present, ' c u l t u r e s ' that d i s t i n g u i s h n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t i e s are 4 3. While the a n t i - i n d u s t r i a l n o s t a l g i c tone of the "Vanishing American" paradigm implies a c r i t i c a l stance towards i n d u s t r i a l modernity, Jackson Lears argues t h a t such i d e o l o g y "...unknowingly provided part of the p s y c h o l o g i c a l foundation f o r a streamlined l i b e r a l c u l t u r e appropriate to t w e n t i e t h century consumer c a p i t a l i s m . . . by c r e a t i n g an 'evasive b a n a l i t y ' of ' o f f i c i a l c u l t u r e ' . . . . The common p a t t e r n of c u l t u r e i n v o l v e d a d e n i a l of the c o n f l i c t s i n modern c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , an a f f i r m a t i o n of continuing harmony and progress." (Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the Transformation of American C u l t u r e , 1880-1920, New York: Pantheon Books, 1981, pp.4-17. 4 4. Walter Benn Michaels, "The Vanishing American," American L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y , Volume 2, Number 2, pp.220-241. 20 l o c a t e d i n ' p r i m i t i v e ' or ' t r a d i t i o n a l ' past jeopardized by contact with (read: e x p l o i t a t i o n by) the modern west." 4 5 There was thus d i s c u s s i o n by the end of the F i r s t World War on promoting Northwest Coast objects as a p o s i t i v e a e s t h e t i c c o n t r i b u t i o n to the Canadian present from the "Indian" past. The a s s o c i a t i o n between v a l o r i z i n g Northwest Coast objects as h i s t o r i c a l specimens to be salvaged and preserved i n p u b l i c museums and the o u t - r i g h t a t t a c k on F i r s t Nations s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s i s d r a m a t i c a l l y e x e m p l i f i e d i n the p o t l a t c h ban. The ban began through an 1884 amendment to the Indian Act and climaxed i n the 1922 prosecution of Kwakwaka'wakw p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the 1921 Cranmer p o t l a t c h at V i l l a g e I s l a n d . The ban was par t of the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o l i c y of a s s i m i l a t i o n , or Anglo-conformity, i n which F i r s t Nations s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s were to be replaced by V i c t o r i a n B r i t i s h i n s t i t u t i o n a l systems. The Cranmer p o t l a t c h t r i a l not only r e s u l t e d i n the imprisonment of twenty-two Kwakwaka'wakw i n d i v i d u a l s , an in f o r m a l p l e a bargain f u r t h e r l e d to the surrender of the p o t l a t c h paraphernalia of the Kwakwaka'wakw Lekwiltok, M a m a l i l l i k u l l a , and Nimpkish peoples to the c o f f e r s of the N a t i o n a l Museum i n Ottawa (see f i g u r e 2), the Royal Ontario Museum and New York's Heye Foundation. 4 6 Marvin Cohodas, Basketweavers f o r the C a l i f o r n i a Curio Trade: E l i z a b e t h and Louise Hickox, Tuscon: U n i v e r s i t y of Arizona Press 1997, p.48. 4 6. See Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, and Daisy Sewid-Smith, Persecution or Prosecution, Cape Mudge, B.C.: Nu-Yum-Balees 1979. 21 As l e g a l h i s t o r i a n Tina Loo points out, the p o t l a t c h ban served an important f u n c t i o n f o r Canada, s t i l l l e s s than s i x t y years o l d i n 1922: "Laws express the r u l e s that l i m i t and shape behaviour and expectation, but they are also expressions of e t h i c a l norms," w r i t e s Loo. "Thus, not only are we r u l e d by law, but law a l s o embodies and a r t i c u l a t e s the broad ideas around which we are c o n s t i t u t e d as a s o c i e t y . " 4 7 While Loo seems here to i n t e r p r e t the e t h i c a l norms promoted i n p u b l i c i n s t i t u t i o n a l spheres as r e f l e c t i o n s or expressions of already e x i s t i n g , shared values, the p o i n t i s that both law and p u b l i c p o l i c y are s t r a t e g i c a l l y designed to shape those values. This s t r a t e g y was p a r t i c u l a r l y important to a people attempting to forge a n a t i o n based s p e c i f i c a l l y on B r i t i s h norms but n e c e s s a r i l y r e l i a n t on n o n - B r i t i s h indigenous and immigrant l a b o u r . 4 8 The replacement of indigenous values f o r the objects w i t h European values r e i n f o r c e d a new s o c i a l order which favoured B r i t i s h immigrants and which was simultaneously d e f i n e d i n 4 7. Tina Loo, "Dan Cranmer's Potlatch: Law as Coercion, Symbol and Rhetoric i n B r i t i s h Columbia, 1884-1951," Canadian H i s t o r i c a l Review, Volume LXVIII, Number 2, 1992, pp. 150-151. 4 8. A quarter of the three m i l l i o n ' immigrants to Canada between 1896 and 1914 were from the non-Anglo-Celtic world. (Angus McLaren, Our Own Master Race: Eugenics i n Canada, 1885-1945, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart 1990, Reg Whitaker, Canadian Immigration P o l i c y Since Confederation, Ottawa: Canadian H i s t o r i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n Canada's Ethnic Groups Booklet 15 1991, Howard H. Palmer, "Reluctant Hosts: Anglo-Canadian Views of M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i n the Twentieth Century," i n C u l t u r a l D i v e r s i t y and Canadian Education, Ottawa: Carleton U n i v e r s i t y 1984, pp.21-40, Canadian law. 4 9 There i s therefore an i n t e r s e c t i o n between the law as i t constructs a c o l l e c t i v e s o c i a l i d e n t i t y and the r e i f i c a t i o n of Northwest Coast objects i n c o n s t r u c t i n g a c o l l e c t i v e s o c i a l memory that confirms that i d e n t i t y . " I t i s an i m p l i c i t r u l e that p a r t i c i p a n t s i n any s o c i a l order must presuppose a shared memory...[and] c o n t r o l of a s o c i e t y ' s memory l a r g e l y conditions the hie r a r c h y of power," w r i t e s Paul Connerton. 5 0 A f t e r the F i r s t World War, the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e , a u n i f i e d s o c i a l memory, became i n c r e a s i n g l y important as the Canadian government asserted a p o l i t i c a l independence u l t i m a t e l y l e a d i n g to a change i n i t s s t a t u s from a B r i t i s h colony or possession to an independent monarchy under the Statute of Westminster i n 1931. 5 1 Although o f f i c i a l s at the N a t i o n a l Museum b e n e f i t e d from t h e i r r e c e p t i o n of the masks and other objects of the Cranmer p o t l a t c h , the Cranmer d e a l a l s o served a l a r g e r purpose. 4 9. As B r i t i s h Columbia Premier Simon Fraser Tolmie announced i n 1928: "We are anxious to keep t h i s a B r i t i s h country. We want B r i t i s h Columbia B r i t i s h and nothing e l s e . " (Quoted i n P a t r i c i a E. Roy, " B r i t i s h Columbia's Fear of Asians 1900-1950," H i s t o i r e S o c i a l / S o c i a l History, Volume X I I I , Number 25, p.162.) 5 0. Paul Connerton, How S o c i e t i e s Remember, Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press 1989, p . l . 5 1. Robert Bothwell, Ian Drummond, and John E n g l i s h , Canada, 1900-1945, Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press 1987, pp.229-244. 23 I I I . Objects, Society, and Resource Ownership on the Northwest Coast While the j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the p o t l a t c h ban ranged from disease prevention to h a l t i n g what was perceived to be a r e g r e s s i v e " s u p e r s t i t i o u s " ceremony that imprisoned F i r s t Nations people i n a s p i r a l i n g c y c l e of impoverishment, what may have been c l o s e r to the poi n t was Marius Barbeau's suggestion that the p o t l a t c h was " . . . i n r e a l i t y the o l d 'Indian c h i e f form of government and...that i t should not be t o l e r a t e d by the white man's Government...." 5 2 Furthermore, throughout the coast, the p o t l a t c h system was e s s e n t i a l to economic and s o c i a l management. Native lineages had c o n t r o l l e d both r e a l and i n c o r p o r e a l property, i n c l u d i n g the r i g h t s to salmon spawning streams, l a k e s , trapping s i t e s , patches of e d i b l e p l a n t s , stands of cedar i t r e e s , b i r d r o o k e r i e s , s t r e t c h e s of c o a s t l i n e , winter v i l l a g e s i t e s , and, according to N i b l a c k and Swanton w r i t i n g i n 1890 and 1905 r e s p e c t i v e l y , h a l i b u t banks. 5 3 In other words, the access to the land and resources e s s e n t i a l to the c o l o n i a l development of B r i t i s h Columbia were already vested i n indigenous lineage ^. Marius Barbeau quoting Indian Agent Todd w r i t i n g from M e t l a k a t l a i n 1899 on "the p r i n c i p a l objection amongst the C h r i s t i a n i z e d Indians to the p o t l a t c h . . . " , i n C. M. Barbeau, "The P o t l a t c h among the B.C. Indians and Section 149 of the Indian Act," Ottawa: Unpublished 1934 (Canadian Museum of C i v i l i z a t i o n 11007.13, B12, F2, VII-X-4 6M), p.49. 5 3. Margaret B. Blackman, "Haida: T r a d i t i o n a l Culture," i n Handbook, p.248. Although Blackman reports that Masset Haida stated i n the 1970s that h a l i b u t banks were named but not owned (Ibid, p.249), I think i t ' s important that i n the era of the p o t l a t c h ban, published accounts reported the ownership of t h i s resource by lineages. 24 systems. Although c l a n and lineage hierarchy, descent, and r i t u a l s that c e l e b r a t e d or v a l i d a t e d the transfer! of r i g h t s v a r i e d from group to group, i n d i v i d u a l ranking w i t h i n the li n e a g e s was g e n e r a l l y accomplished through the i n h e r i t e d r i g h t s to a r e p o s i t o r y of names, dances, songs, s t o r i e s and c r e s t i f i g u r e s d i s p l a y e d and v a l i d a t e d at p o t l a t c h and f e a s t o c c a s i o n s . 5 4 The highest ranking members of the li n e a g e were a l s o l i n e a g e t r u s t e e s , responsible f o r the management of the lineage-owned resources both r e a l and i n c o r p o r e a l . 5 5 The i n t e g r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h i s k i n s h i p system, ceremonial o b j e c t s , and resource u t i l i z a t i o n was s u c c i n c t l y summarized by Delgamuukw (Ken Muldoe) i n the 1987 f i l i n g of the Gitxsan-Wet'suwet'en s u i t i n the B r i t i s h Columbia Supreme Court (which a l s o demonstrates the on-going p o l i t i c a l currency of the The c r e s t s were "the most important incorporeal lineage p r o p e r t i e s . . . " and "...were the i d e n t i f y i n g symbols of the lineages and, i n cases where an i n d i v i d u a l claimed e x c l u s i v e r i g h t to a c r e s t , i t was i n d i c a t i v e of i n d i v i d u a l rank w i t h i n the lineage." (I b i d , p.249.) These crests were carved on totem poles, household u t e n s i l s , boxes, and feast dishes, a l l of which were the focus of museum c o l l e c t i n g beginning i n the 1870s (Douglas Cole, Captured Heritage: The Scramble for Northwest Coast A r t i f a c t s , Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and Mclntyre 1985), and t a t t o o s and body p a i n t i n g . (Blackman, "Haida," p.249.) 5 5. I b i d , pp.248-249. This general summary here i s based on Haida s o c i e t y as described by Blackman. For other groups i n B r i t i s h Columbia see ( a l l i n S u t t l e s , Handbook): Marjorie'M. Halpin and Margaret Seguin, "Tsimshian Peoples: Southern Tsimshian, Coast Tsimshian, Nishga, and Gitksan," pp.267-284; Charles Hamori-Torok, "Haisla," pp.306-311; Suzanne F. H i l t o n , "Haihais, B e l l a - B e l l a , and Oowekeeno," pp.312-322; Dorothy I. D. Kennedy and Randall T. Bouchard, " B e l l a Coola," pp.323-339; Helen Codere, "Kwakiutl: T r a d i t i o n a l Culture," pp.359-377; Eugene Arima and John Dewhirst, "Nootkans of Vancouver Island," pp.391-411; Dorothy I . D. Kennedy and Randall T. Bouchard, "Northern Coast S a l i s h , " pp.441-452; and Wayne Su t t l e s , "Central Coast S a l i s h , " pp.453-475. 25 p o t l a t c h system among c e r t a i n F i r s t Nations l e a d e r s ) : My power i s c a r r i e d i n my House's h i s t o r i e s , songs, dances, and c r e s t s . I t i s recreated at the Feast when the h i s t o r i e s are t o l d , the songs and dances performed, and the c r e s t s d i s p l a y e d . With the wealth that comes from r e s p e c t f u l use of the t e r r i t o r y , the House feeds the name of the Chief i n the Feast H a l l . In t h i s way, the law, the Chief, the t e r r i t o r y , and the Feast become one. The u n i t y of the Chief's a u t h o r i t y and h i s House's are witnessed and thus a f f i r m e d by the other Chiefs at the Feast. 5 6 On the c e n t r a l coast, indigenous Kwakwaka'wakw s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e d i f f e r s i n that k i n s h i p i s b i l a t e r a l r a t h e r than s t r i c t l y m a t r i l i n e a l . However, as i n the north, r i g h t s to both corporeal and i n c o r p o r e a l resources a l s o r e s i d e d i n k i n groups. Each of the t h i r t y autonomous Kwakwaka'wakw groups commonly c a l l e d t r i b e s c o n s i s t e d of s e v e r a l corporate k i n groups termed numayms and claims to resource areas were f r e q u e n t l y h e r e d i t a r y and based on numaym membership. 5 7 As the p o t l a t c h centres on F i r s t Nations ownership of the very resources t h a t non-Natives coveted, the s t a t e attempted to circumvent r e s i s t a n c e to i t s own a u t h o r i t y through p r o h i b i t i o n of the p o t l a t c h . C l e a r l y then, the not i o n that a r e v i v a l i s f a l s e put forward by Neel, Hunt, Manuel and others can be i n t e r p r e t e d as confirming the a u t h o r i t y and r i g h t s c o n s t i t u t e d i n these indigenous systems. This a s s e r t i o n i s rooted i n the e a r l i e r r e f u s a l s to di s c o n t i n u e p o t l a t c h i n g and 3 b. Gisday Wa and Delgam Uukw, The S p i r i t i n the Land: The Opening Statement of the Gitksan and Wet'suwet'en Hereditary Chiefs i n the Supreme Court of B r i t i s h Columbia, Gab r i o l a , B.C.: Re f l e c t i o n s 1989, pp.7-8. 5 7. Helen Codere, "Kwakiutl; T r a d i t i o n a l Culture," i n S u t t l e s , Handbook, pp.359 and 364. 26 i t s consequent construction of localized indigenous authority structures and resource ownership. Objects became powerful symbols in the larger conflict over resources and authority. In addition, the competitive destruction of property associated with the late nineteenth century Kwakwaka'wakw was exaggerated and constructed as a threat to the Christian/bourgeois system of private property. Anthropologist Helen Codere argues that population decline among the Kwakwaka'Wakw in the last quarter of the nineteenth century led to empty numaym positions. This coincided with changes in settlement patterns as tribes congregated around the new trading posts and cannery towns. Participation in the colonial economy in conjunction with these social changes resulted in the elaboration of the potlatch as a means of sorting out multiple claims to the numaym positions. This elaborated form of the potlatch was the focus of the intensified state h o s t i l i t y towards Northwest Coast ceremony around the First World War. One result was the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions in 1922.58 In short, the policy of encouraging settlement and industrial development centred on land expropriation 5 9 and while this served the economic interests of the province's Euro-Canadian industrial and commercial sectors, i t directly contradicted the interests of First Nations peoples, since, in 5 8. Ibid, pp.366-372. Jacques Simard, "White Ghosts, Red Shadows: The Reduction of American Natives," in James A. Clifton, editor, The Invented Indian: Cultural Fictions and Government Policies, New Brunswick, USA: Transaction Publishers 1990, p.352. 27 their view, their system of managing access to land and resources had been banned without their consent or even participation in the decision-making. First Nations in British Columbia mounted organized resistance to assimilation and Anglo-conformity, the allocation of reserve land, and the limited definition of aboriginal rights, but these failed to immediately influence governmental policy. First Nations resistance organizations included the Nishga Land Committee, the Indian Rights Association, the Interior Tribes of British Columbia and the A l l i e d Tribes of British Columbia. A l l were formed between 1900 and 1916 and were active up until the ban on land claims instituted in a 1927 amendment to the Indian Act. 6 0 : The federal government demonstrated i t s disdain for First Nations interests through a series of patriarchal amendments to the Indian Act between 1913 and 1927 that gave Indian Agents more leverage in enforcing the potlatch ban and that stripped First Nations peoples not only of the rights to hire legal counsel and lobby for land claims, but also of the right to s e l l totem poles and other "heritage" objects without the consent of the Department of Indian A f f a i r s . 6 1 Canadian "cultural" agencies also undertook a number of important programmes that reconfigured meaning for Northwest Coast objects. Poles were turned towards the nation's r a i l lines and erected in c i v i c . Paul Tennant, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics: The Indian Land Question, 1849-1989, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press 1992, pp.84-113. 6 1. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.278. 28 parks. At the same time, masks and other p a i n t e d and carved objects were e x h i b i t e d at the N a t i o n a l G a l l e r y and w r i t t e n about as pa r t of an e a r l i e r h e r i t a g e . These a c t i v i t i e s enclosed t a r g e t e d F i r s t Nations peoples w i t h i n a temporal c o n s t r u c t i o n that barred t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n contemporary decision-making. By extension, s t a t e paternalism was necessary to ensure t h e i r " e v o l u t i o n " from enclosure i n the past to the r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s of "modern" Canadian c i t i z e n s h i p . 6 2 ^. Because First Nations peoples had been allocated status as wards of the state through the Indian Act, they did not have at that time the rights of citizenship. (See, for example, John Leslie and Ron Maguire, editors, The Historical Development of the Indian Act, Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada 1978, and Tennant, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics.) 29 IV. Display as Recontextualization Reversing the common assumption that early artifact collections are useful in reconstructing "transformations of material culture," Thomas argues that rather than "preserving" the concepts or intentions of i t s makers, the meaning of objects shifts in their new museum context. 6 3 Display strategies in the 1920s, therefore, can be seen as affirming the specific modes of authority responsible for managing the nation's economic development. There is thus a fundamental contradiction in the function of totem poles and other objects within indigenous lineage and Euro-Canadian museum systems.64 "...[OJbjects are not what they were made to be but what they have become," writes Thomas,65 drawing attention to what he calls a "promiscuity of the object" 6 6 in which meaning is externally impressed by the Nicholas Thomas, Entangled Objects: Exchange, Material Culture and Colonialism in the Pacific, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 1991, p.5. 6 4. Halpin, for example,.outlined in 1975 two fundamental categories in which Northwest Coast objects can be considered: art, which she dated to the aesthetic appreciation of ceremonial objects in a gallery context at the 1967 Arts of the Raven show, and anthropology, which she described as "the attempt of Western people, using the tools of science and scholarship, to understand other cultures in their own terms. Thus, the imposition of our category of 'art'...can...be seen as antithetical to the purposes of anthropology." (Halpin, "The Uses of Collections," p.45.) Other, earlier examples of discursive disagreement might include the differing application of the terms "handicraft" and "industry" in relation to First Nations objects. 6 5. Nicholas Thomas, Entangled Objects, p.4. Ibid. 30 context in which the object is presented and received. In this sense, then, meaning is not static. Objects are valued and used not for what they are as material forms but for the meanings applied to them. These meanings are not only changing through constant re-negotiation, but also drastically changed when, for example, removed from an indigenous context to a Euro-Canadian museum. Anthropologist Michael Taussig, who draws a comparison between the fetish and the state as instruments of power for selected elites, suggests the display or ut i l i z a t i o n of the fetish i s in i t s e l f a demonstration of power over the forces i t represents. 6 7 One can put this as well into the context of modern Canadian nationalism as i t emerged from an earlier British colonialism, where the display of indigenous "fetishes," was part of the formation of a new collective, "uniquely Canadian" social memory that celebrated the supersession of an indigenous past by a modern, European present. Although the context shifts, the function of the fetish at a fundamental level continues and "...the representation acquires npt just the power of the represented, but power over it as well"66 (emphasis Taussig). One key issue for this dissertation, then, is generally how things become, and specifically how Northwest Coast things have become "Canadian." This i s where a history of objects, what 6 7. Taussig, "Maleficium, " pp.111-140. 6 8. Ibid, p.126. 31 Kopytoff calls a biography of things, 6 9 becomes useful because i t fleshes out the issues that are at stake in the becoming, in the movement of meaning around a thing or a set of things. It brings into account the idea of multiple audiences and multiple makers of meaning, where a society is not an autonomous group, but rather a collection of competing groups. In this light, knowing who makes "culture," whose interests this "culture" serves, and who represents other "cultures" is crucial to understanding the conflicting assertions of meaning for objects - to understanding what and how objects become. For example, after the Second World War, the federal government abandoned the Anglo-conformity of the era of the potlatch ban as the paradigm for national culture. Assimilation was replaced with integration and the notion that non-British social groups could simultaneously hold on to aspects of their "native" modes of expression and s t i l l be considered "good Canadians."70 Furthermore, influential politicians, like Lester b S. "Biographies of things," writes Igor Kopytoff, "can make salient what might otherwise remain obscure. For example, in situations of culture contact, they can show what anthropologists have so often stressed: that what is significant about the adoption of alien objects - as of alien ideas - is not the fact that they are adopted, but the way they are culturally redefined and put to use." (Igor Kopytoff, "The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process," in Arjun Appadurai, editor, The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1986, p.67.) 7 0. Paul L i t t traces this to the effect of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences (the Massey Commission) which sat from 1949 to 1951. The findings of the Massey Commission "...showed that Canadian cultural development would have to come to terms not just with biculturalism, but multiculturalism as well." (Paul L i t t , The Muses, the Masses, and the Massey Commission, Toronto: University 32 Pearson and Brooke Claxton, argued that i f Canada were to f u l f i l l a significant international p o l i t i c a l role in the post-war era, i t would be in the government's interest to promote Canadian identity through "culture" both domestically and internationally. 7 1 In British Columbia, the University of British Columbia and the provincial government joined together with a number of private corporations and their executives to form the Totem Pole Preservation Committee in the early 1950s. The objective of the committee was not only to salvage and preserve totem poles, as was the intention of earlier projects in the 1920s, but to use museum collections in conjunction with living "traditional" pole carvers to establish a carver-training program and resurrect Northwest Coast "art." Indeed, this was the beginning of Halpin's "enthusiastic revival." 7 2 Tsimshian/Haida historian Marcia Crosby succinctly puts this development into the context of the cultural politics of the era of the Massey Commission, suggesting that the recognition of First Nations culture in British Columbia was "...part of a larger strategy to focus on culture as the means for creating a federalist ideology that both contained and encouraged regional diversity." 7 3 of Toronto Press 1992, p.113.) 7 1. Ibid, p.17. 7 2. Halpin, Totem Poles, p.2. 7 3. Marcia Crosby, Indian Art/Aboriginal Title, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Unpublished Master of Arts Thesis 1994, p.50. 33 Both the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions and the activities of the Totem Pole Preservation Committee of the 1950s were tied to efforts at "modernizing" British Columbia. They, however, followed quite different strategies. The potlatch ban was assimilationist, j u s t i f i e d by a social evolutionary vision of Canadian society that privileged a particularly British world view. The ac t i v i t i e s of the Totem Pole Preservation Committee in theory recognized non-British contributions to national culture and allowed for the public expression of non-British forms of identity. They both also implicitly supported a predominantly non-Native social and economic order through their refusal or failure to recognize the contemporary currency of the function of First Nations objects in the lineage and potlatch systems. Taken together, they also support Thomas' view of the use of culture: "In effect, modernity i t s e l f can be understood as a colonialist project that both the societies internal to Western nations, and those they possessed, administered and reformed elsewhere were understood as objects to be surveyed, regulated and sanitized...." 7 4 However, Thomas continues by arguing that: . . . i t i s essential at the same time to recognize that government is not a unitary work but heterogenous and partial, and moreover that the meanings engendered by hegemonic codes and narratives do not exist in hermetic domains but are placed at risk, revalued and distorted through being enacted and experienced. In colonial encounters, marked not only by struggle but also by misrecognition and by disingenuous compliance, the risks are very real indeed. It 7 4. Thomas, Colonialism's Culture, pp.4-5. 34 is v i t a l , then, to make explicit the efforts to govern that are present in particular fields of colonial representation, without ever assuming that this government is stable and secure. 7 5 In an example of governmental instability from one of the projects sponsored by the Totem Pole Preservation Committee, the notion of the poles as "art" championed by committee member Wilson Duff was altered by negotiations in the Gitxsan village of Kitwancool (now Gitanyow). In return for the "permanent preservation" of three poles (figure 3) between 1958 and 1961 in the provincial museum in Victoria, the people of Gitanyow secured a contract for the recording, translation, and publication of the histories, territories, and laws of the Gitanyow through the Provincial Museum.76 This was a move that forced the implicit recognition of Gitanyow claims to lands that at the time were being opened to industrial exploitation through the Crown distribution of timber harvest licenses to private corporations like MacMillan-Bloedel, 7 7 7 5. Ibid. 7 6. Wilson Duff, editor, Histories, Territories, and Laws of the Kitwancool, Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum Anthropology in British Columbia Memoir Number 4, 1959:. As wil l be discussed in chapter eight, there are grounds for the University of British Columbia's dispute over the provincial museum's claim to jurisdiction over the poles. The contract published in the 1959 memoir, however, does state that the agreement for the poles relocation and replication i s specifically between the provincial museum and the people of Gitanyow. (See Ibid, pp.3-4.) 7 7. Walter G. Hardwick, Geography of the Forest Industry in Coastal British Columbia, Vancouver: Canadian Association of Geographers Occasional Papers in Geography Number 5 1963, p.22, and John Bradbury, "British Columbia: Metropolis and Hinterland in Microcosm," in L. D. McCann, editor, A Geography of Canada: Heartland and Hinterland, Scarborough: Prentice-Hall 1982, pp.349-35 While certain exhibitions of the inter-war years may share with post-war exhibitions a hidden or even unconscious colonialist intent to reaffirm a social order that privileges one group over another, the suggestion that a people are undergoing a social and a r t i s t i c "renaissance" was radically different from the notion of complete social collapse. Thus, the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions of 1922 and the Gitanyow project, which was completed in 1961 are symbolic markers of a significant "episode of change" in the conception of national "culture" in Canada. 1961 was also the year of the federal enfranchisement, which shares with the Gitanyow salvage project and Duff's belief in totem poles as "art," a recognition of a position for First Nations peoples in modern Canadian society. The unbending demands of Anglo-conformity were now tempered by a limited and s t i l l ethnocentric acknowledgement of the possibility for social difference. Important to this broad shift are transformations in national policy models, including the move from laissez-faire to Keynsian economic theory and from evolutionism to cultural pluralism as the paradigm for national social structure. 351. V. Accumulated Labours 36 The dissertation therefore opens in 1922 and closes in 1961, tracing through these years the use of Northwest Coast objects as tropes in the emergence of Canada's national culture through a series of representational projects that articulate some of the different positions on the meaning and uses of Northwest Coast objects, and that are part of the larger struggle determining a social position for First Nations peoples within Canadian society. This is a rich period in many ways. I am not disputing the notion of decline directly through the recitation of what did survive - the spi r i t dance masks of the Coast Salish groups,78 the syncretistic gravestones that appear among the northern groups,79 the masks and poles of the Kwakwaka'wakw, or what Joe David calls the 'rebel masks' of the Nuu-chah-nulth.80 Rather, I am examining the negotiation of meaning around objects used specifically in public projects to '°. The Duff Papers at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology contain anthropologist Wilson Duff's documentation of Salish s p i r i t dancing in the late 1940s. 7 9. See, for example, Ronald W. Hawker, In the Way of the White Man's Totem Poles: Tsimshian Gravestones, 1879-1920, Victoria: Unpublished Master of Arts Thesis, 1988, and Margaret B. Blackman, "Totems to Tombstones: Culture Change as Viewed through the Haida Mortuary Complex," Ethnology 12 (1973), pp.47-56. David reports the use of apple boxes and other temporary, cheap and easily accessible materials to construct wolf masks during the potlatch ban. The idea, according to David, was to make masks that could be quickly discarded with l i t t l e material loss to the owner in case of a government raid. (Joe David, Fine Arts 369 lecture, Department of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia, January 1994.) 37 highlight the symbolic uses of such objects during this period. And while formalism and iconography have been the strongest currents in Northwest Coast art discourses, this form of privilege has marginalized works from the period I am discussing and obscured the p o l i t i c a l relations they engender. My project is indeed partial. There are many ways of approaching this material. I do not intend to preclude these other methodologies as art historical tools and indeed I do use visual analysis when necessary to the discussion, but I use a documentary approach in order to foreground that which has generally been marginalized in these discourses. I emphasize the objects' uses in public projects for two reasons. First, the stories, songs, and other performances of objects used in potlatch ceremonies are considered the private property of lineage groups and the holders of specific positions within them. I have no status within this structure and do not want to transgress this concept of ownership. Second, I wanted to avoid the tendency to conceive of First Nations cultures as isolated from interaction with non-Native societies. I argue instead that this interaction was the occasion for an expansion of function and especially meaning in Northwest Coast object production. I also chose to limit myself to textual sources. I wanted to rely not only on the objects but also on the publications, newspaper accounts, written objectives, and unpublished memoranda and correspondence as a means of fleshing out the intentions of the time. Although oral history i s always valuable, I felt that interviews would have complicated my 38 reading of these sources, providing reminiscences from a perspective now forty or f i f t y years on. My strategy is to demonstrate what rich presence First Nations voices have in these archival and published sources. I have thus chosen to emphasize textual history over ethnography. While i t i s well known, for example, that Mungo Martin and other carvers participated in museum projects, these have never been examined within this larger, highly contested context of Canadian identity and national "culture." This dissertation does not present a First Nations perspective. Some might argue against confining the dissertation to British Columbia territory in the view that the a r t i s t i c and spiritual communities transcend borders and there is a constant flow of personnel and ideas across them. However, different government bureaucracies shape the experiences of peoples on either side of the borders. My project is to see how public display formed an opportunity for negotiation between local, provincial, and federal governments and First Nations peoples. This dissertation therefore explores the historical experiences and the shaping of a r t i s t i c discourses concerning First Nations and i t s relation to Canadian identity specifically in British Columbia. By using archival sources, such as the Hawthorn and Duff Papers in the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology Archives, the Duff Papers at the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Sapir and Barbeau Correspondence f i l e s in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, correspondence and f i e l d reports available in microfilm through the Indian Affairs Black Series, meeting minutes and scrapbooks of the Art Historical, and Scientific Association in the Vancouver City Archives, and the Duff, Raley and British Columbia Indian Art and Welfare Society papers in the Public Archives of British Columbia, I also examine ideologies at the heart of some of Northwest Coast art history's past and current discursive parameters. The dissertation is structured as a chronological progression. Chapter 1 examines the 1921 Cranmer potlatch, the 1922 prosecution and the transfer of ceremonial objects to the National Museum of Canada. Chapter 2 discusses the relocation of poles by an urban voluntary organization, the Vancouver Art, Historical and Scientific Association, from Kwakwaka'wakw communities on the central coast to Vancouver's Stanley Park between 1921 and 1925. Chapter 3 covers two federal institutional projects: the in situ preservation of Gitxsan poles in the Skeena Valley from 1924 to 1928 and the creation of nationalist a r t i s t i c a f f i n i t i e s through the 1927-28 Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art - Native and Modern. Chapters 4 and i 5 both focus on the interest in First Nations "art" as a promotional device in social reform lobbying between the wars. Chapter 4 looks at the activities of George Raley in the 1930s, while Alice Ravenhill and the British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society, who promoted individual artists like Judith Morgan, George Clutesi, and Ellen Neel from 1939 through to the 1950s, form the content for Chapter 5. Chapter 6 provides an analysis of the activities of individual First Nations artists Mathias Joe, Mungo Martin and George Clutesi between 1936 and 40 1949. Chapter 7 examines the cooperative efforts of the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Provincial Museum and the formation of the Totem Pole Carver Training Programme. Chapter 8 chronicles the institutional "renaissance" of the 1950s through the projects of the provincial Totem Pole Preservation Committee and i t s head carver, Mungo Martin, and culminating in the reassertion of totem poles as t e r r i t o r i a l markers by the residents of Gitanyow in 1958. My choice of the term "project" in describing these activities stems from Thomas's notion of the necessity for historical specificity in describing colonialist a c t i v i t i e s , highlighting both assertions made in favour of socially-privileged groups and the responses they stimulated from those in marginalized positions. Thomas writes: 'Project' may be a deceptively simple word, but i t has theoretical implications that differ significantly from the terms of reference commonly employed in h i s t o r i c a l , sociological or anthropological inquiry. It draws attention not towards a t o t a l i t y such as a culture, nor to a period that can be defined independently of people's perceptions and strategies, but rather to a socially transformative endeavour that is localized, politicized and partial, yet also engendered by longer historical developments and ways of narrating them....[I]n colonialist circumstances the interest in creating something new, on the part of settlers or a colonized population or both, is widespread; and even i f resistance on the part of the colonized seems to entail merely a return to formal circumstances, of indigenous sovereignty and cultural autonomy, the struggle to recreate such conditions 41 nevertheless engenders novel perceptions of identity, action and history; even what appears to be simply reactive or retrogressive thus amounts to a project, to a whole . transformative endeavour. 1 Contrary to primitivist constructions of "traditional" Northwest Coast societies as unchanging, the concept of power and i t s visual manifestation as transforming and transformative was not alien to Northwest Coast p o l i t i c a l leaders. That objects may be misrepresented for economic or social gain in indigenous contexts is recognized and limited by the potlatch and lineage systems, where individual and group rights to recite certain histories and display associated images have been both controlled and disputed. The recognition of a complex multiplicity of meaning as well as the u t i l i t y of objects to assert p o l i t i c a l objectives that emerge in the projects I describe do not, in other words, necessarily represent some sort of radical conceptual break resulting solely from the circumstances created by Euro-Canadian colonialism, although colonialism created contexts for new shifts in meaning. That First Nations people have participated in the transformative expansion of meaning for Northwest Coast objects in an attempt to assert their own power should surprise no one. Transformation has been long celebrated within their own private and public spaces. 8 2 8 1. Ibid, p.106. 8 2. Marjorie Halpin, "The Structure of Tsimshian Totemism,' in Jay Miller and Carol M. Eastman, editors, The Tsimshian and Their Neighbors of the North Pacific Coast. Seattle: University 42 of British Columbia Press 1984, p.35. 43 CHAPTER 1 The Cranmer Potlatch and Halliday Display The race has waned and l e f t but tales of ghosts, That hover in the world like fading smoke About the lodges: gone are the dusty folk That once were cunning with the thong and snare And mighty with the paddle and the bow; They lured the silver salmon from his l a i r , They drove the buffalo in trampling hosts, And gambled in the tepees until dawn, But now their vaunted prowess a l l is gone, Gone like a moose-track in the April snow. But a l l the land i s murmurous with the c a l l Of their wild names that haunt the lovely glens Where lonely water f a l l s , or where the street Sounds a l l day with the tramp of myriad feet; Duncan Campbell Scott, "Indian Place Names," originally published in New World Lyrics and Ballads, 1905.1 Although Reverend George Raley would write in 1935 of the objects of the Northwest Coast as "Canada's f i r s t contribution to the world of art," 2 they had not long been considered as such. The objects' transformation to "art" in.Euro-Canada's public understanding was gradual, prompted through a number of projects with sometimes conflicting objectives and motives. And before they were seen as "art," they were presented in non-Native public displays as "antiquity." Duncan Campbell Scott wrote in 1905, summarising public sentiment and the basis for public policy in his poem "Indian Place Names," that "[t]he race has waned ...now x. Glenn Clever, Duncan Campbell Scott; Selected Poetry, Ottawa: The Tecumseh Press, 1974, p.36. 2. George H. Raley, "Canadian Indian Art and Industries: An Economic Problem of Today," The Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 83 September 1935, p.993. 44 their vaunted prowess a l l is gone."3 Because ceremonial objects contributed to the construction of status and the hierarchial organization of access to resources through the potlatch system, the reconfiguration of meaning for the objects as "antiquity," as part of the past, effectively denied the continuing importance of indigenous p o l i t i c a l structures. Although not a l l Euro-Canadian projects centred on First Nations objects had this denial as their primary objective, an important early display associated with the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions did so explicitly. The potlatch ban of the late nineteenth and f i r s t half of the twentieth century was part of a larger policy of assimilating First Nations peoples. The repression of ceremonialism discouraged participation in traditional rites and, at least in theory, thus subverted indigenous modes of leadership. This opened the way to the inculcation of British social customs and values through other strategies, such as Christianization and enforced education. The reconfiguration of objects previously associated with the potlatch as objects of "antiquity" served two purposes: f i r s t , i t paralleled the overtly repressive strategies of the potlatch ban by suggesting that the objects no longer held a viable role in First Nations societies; and, second, the objects could be appropriated and presented as part of a mythical Canadian past now useful in symbolizing Canadian identity. While normally the connection between the repression of ceremonialism and the appropriation and presentation of the objects as Canadian 3. Clever, Duncan Campbell Scott, p.36. 45 was obscured by the fact that o f f i c i a l s from different arms of the state were responsible for different aspects of the process, William Halliday, Indian Agent based in Alert Bay, both prosecuted and adjudicated the potlatch ban and then catalogued and displayed seized objects before shipping them to the National Museum in Ottawa. The distance between repression and appropriation was never closer than in the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions, the subject of this chapter. I I . The Kwakwaka*wakw Potlatch and Its Persecution The research efforts and collecting activities of Franz Boas and the most oppressive implementation of the Canadian government's potlatch ban focused on the same group of people, the Kwakwaka'wakw - commonly referred to prior to the 1980s as the Kwakiutl. 4 While the potlatch had technically been prohibited since 1884, i n i t i a l prosecution attempts were largely unsuccessful. 5 The Kwakwaka'wakw in particular were perceived as openly resistant to both the ban and the introduction of Christianity and were thus targeted in renewed attempts to stamp Boas made twelve fi e l d trips to the Northwest Coast. He worked exclusively with the Kwakwaka'wakw on five of these and in part with them on three further trips. He also worked with the Kwakwaka'wakw at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, in New York in 1903 when George Hunt assisted him with exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History and :in 1931 when Boas and Dan Cranmer worked on a Kwakwala language project. (Helen Codere, "Introduction," in Franz Boas, Kwakiutl Ethnography, Ed. Helen Codere, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1966, p.xxxi.) 5. The earliest form of the legislated ban was not clear enough in its definition of the potlatch. The f i r s t successful prosecution was not until 1896. (Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, pp.36-44.) 46 out the potlatch following the First World War.6 Duncan Campbell Scott, who had written "Indian Place Names" in 1905, rose to the position of.Deputy Superintendent of the Department of Indian Affairs in 1913.7 He introduced amendments to the Indian Act in 1914 and 1918 to expand the definition of the potlatch and f a c i l i t a t e the successful prosecution of potlatch participants. 8 These led directly to the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of participants in a potlatch hosted by Dan Cranmer at Village Island in 1921.9 Arguments both for and against the potlatch were often made in economic terms.10 George Blenkinsop, an agent with the Indian Reserve Allotment Commission, suggested in 1874 that "[t]hese b. Ibid, p.63. 7. Ibid, p.92. 8. The most important of these, tabled in the House of Commons by the Minister of the Interior Arthur Meighen in 1918, made the offence of potlatching a summary offence and thus allowed the Indian Agent to act simultaneously as prosecutor and judge. (Ibid, p.102.) 9. A number of successful prosecutions preceded the Cranmer case. What distinguishes the Cranmer case, then, is partly the number of people charged and partly the plea bargain discussed in detail below. 1 0. As Marjorie Halpin summarizes: "There have been many explanations for the ritual occasion that involved potlatch giftgiving - that i t converted wealth into prestige through the principles of conspicuous demonstration (the giver deriving social prestige through the size of his gifts); that i t served as an economic investment through the redistribution of resources between groups owning territories of different and variable productivity; that i t maintained society by reinforcing social bonds between family groups; and that, through the rivalry of aggressive giftgiving, 'fighting with property' was substituted for 'fighting with weapons.' The scholarly debate [like the popular debate] has gone on for decades and likely will continue." (Halpin, Totem Poles, p.10.) 47 people are the richest in every respect in British Columbia and were a proper disposal made of their immense gains they could furnish themselves with every comfort they could possibly wish for/' 1 1 As Helen Codere demonstrates, the Kwakwaka'wakw participated enthusiastically in the colonial economy. "...Kwakiutl economic achievement was motivated by potlatching and sustained and increased potlatching," writes Codere. "The 'stream of wealth' of which the Kwakiutl speak was at once the measure of their successful integration with the new and expanding economy and the motive for their success." 1 2 "The lack of 'progressiveness,'" concludes Codere, "was not a lack of industriousness, but a failure to be industrious for the right reasons, in the context of the values of the whites." 1 3 The economic argument against the potlatch was more deeply rooted in a disjunction between the potlatch's social function and the authority presumed necessary by o f f i c i a l s like Scott and Indian Agent William Halliday of the Kwawkewlth Agency for the development of Canadian capitalism. The potlatch was seen by Scott, Halliday and a number of other o f f i c i a l s as a symbol of Kwakwaka'wakw resistance to their 1 1. Quoted in Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.15. 1 2. Helen Codere, Fighting with Property: A Study of Kwakiutl Potlatching and Warfare 1792-1930, New York: J. J. Augustin, 1951, p.127. Codere quotes "Kwakiutl statements on fighting with property" in the potlatch system: "When I was young I have seen streams of blood shed in war. But since that time the white man came and stopped up that stream of blood with wealth." (Ibid, p.129.) 1 3. Ibid, p.10. 48 authority and therefore "the great stumbling block in the way of progress." 1 4 Barbeau quotes Mrs. S. Cook, "an educated and shrewd Indian woman:"15 that "[t]he Kwakiutl w i l l not own allegiance to the government as long as the potlatch prevails: i t excludes a l l other forms of government."16 Indeed, the various ceremonies referred to under the term potlatch validated the hierarchical ranking of groups and individuals, ordering both social relations and the access to and exchange of resources, both natural and supernatural. The Kwakwaka'wakw consisted of thirty autonomous groups (termed "tribes" by Codere) when the potlatch ban was f i r s t introduced. Each group had i t s territory, winter village, and several sites occupied seasonally, and each consisted of several corporate kin groups, anglicized as numaym or numayma.11 The numaym was a social division that traced i t s crests back to a supernatural ancestor. Through i t s lineage history, each numaym had claims to physical property, such as house and food resource sites, and to crests and t i t l e s which existed in a multitude of forms, from designs on house fronts, poles, posts, and feast dishes to privileges such as the use of certain betrothal ceremonies, songs, house names, and t i t l e s . 1 8 The properties were 1 4. William Halliday, quoted in Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.95. 1 5. Barbeau, "The Potlatch among the B.C. Indians," p.49. 1 6. Ibid, p.59. 1 7. Codere, "Kwakiutl," in Suttles, Handbook, p.359. 1 8. Ibid, p.366. 49 "...not mere names, t i t l e s and privileges...[,] / / 1 9 but rather related to a corpus of ancestral myths and therefore "spiritual goods, representing essential spiritual qualities of founders and ultimately of a l l ancestors." 2 0 Myths, writes Halpin: . . . t e l l of a primordial age before the world became as i t is now, a time when fi n i t e divisions between humans, animals, and spi r i t s had not yet been created and beings could transform themselves from one form to another - humans could become animals by putting on skins, animals could become humans by taking them off, humans could marry animals and s p i r i t beings. A l l realms of existence (water, earth, sky, and the land of the dead) were interconnected by beings who could pass among them. It was a time when everything was possible, when a l l boundaries were f l u i d and forms were plastic; a time when the fundamental opposites of l i f e -natural/supernatural, man/woman, life/death, human/animal, hunter/hunted, eater/eaten -were interchangeable aspects of each other. It was a time when cosmic power accelerated the natural processes of change into miracles of transformation. It was a time now lost but remembered. It was a world now gone, but one that people recreated in art and r i t u a l . Through ceremonial and a r t i s t i c re-enactment of their heritage, through dance, song, and ri t u a l acting, people maintained continuity with their genesis. 2 1 The celebration of interconnectedness, of the f l u i d i t y of boundaries, allowed for the acceptance of the possibility of trans-generational transfers of power associated with names and t i t l e s . The recreation of myth time was an act that 1 9. Irving Goldman, The Mouth of Heaven: An Introduction to Kwakiutl Religious Thought, New York: John Whiley and Sons, 1975, p.25. 2 0. Ibid, p.26. Halpin, Totem Poles, p.8. 50 metaphorically validated the contemporary leadership structure through the re-enactment of mythical histories. An important aspect of potlatching then was the negotiation of social positions, prestige, and authority, the relations they constructed, and the right of access to resources they generated. With recitations of lineage histories and the transfer of social positions, the potlatch was additionally important in expressing and mediating conflict resulting from contradictory claims. Because of a gender distinction between how the characteristics that contributed to status were conveyed, the alliance between lineage groups through marriage was extremely important to consolidating and expanding both collective and individual spiritual and terrestrial wealth. 2 2 Halliday in particular objected to traditional Kwakwaka'wakw marriage ceremonies, because they were arranged between numayms to fa c i l i t a t e the transfer of important ceremonial rights, sometimes pairing an older man with a much younger woman. Halliday saw Kwakwaka'wakw weddings and potlatches as closely connected and ". Goldman writes: "Basic rank defines a position held in the name of a lineage, and is linked with the particular name known as the 'house name.' A l l other names held by a person convey special ritual privileges, and represent various ancestral and supernatural beings. Only the house name, which carries the special privileges of distributing property and the office of chief, reifies directly a lineage ancestor. Since a l l lineage ancestors were men, a l l ancestral house names are masculine. Thus though women inherit basic rank names through primogeniture, they act as temporary conveyors of a purely male line....The system of descent is dual. Basic rank through male names is but part of the cargo of supernatural treasures carried down the generations by chiefs. Another part is acquired only through marriage and is a matrilineal contribution to a man's children. Each line transmits i t s own type of powers, and makes its own contribution to the totality of status." (Goldman, Mouth of Heaven, p.51.) 51 believed that i f such marriage ceremonies could be stopped, "...the potlatch would lose i t s chief feeder." 2 3 Halliday was at least partially correct. Charles Nowell described his relationship to his father-in-law (Lagius) in potlatch terms, demonstrating how following potlatch etiquette was essential, at least in certain families, to being a "good" Kwakwaka'wakw individual: Any time I feel like giving a feast or a potlatch after I was married, I get my own money and give i t to Lagius, and he give i t back to me to give a feast or a potlatch. This for the honour of my children, and most times he add some of his own money to make i t more. And when I give the feast or potlatch, I say the money comes from him. After my child was born I did this, and every time a child of mine comes to the time when the baby begins to eat, I do this. Any time the child begins to play and gets hurt, I give money to Lagius and he gives i t back to me, and I give i t away to wipe the blood of the child's wounds. A good son-in-law would do this to the wife's father.... 2 4 It is thus impossible to disengage any of the ceremonial privileges, myths, names, and crests from the overall structure of Kwakwaka'wakw society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Social status engendered in potlatching was based on Kwakwaka'wakw perceptions of both the structure and inter-relationship of human, natural, and supernatural realms. Part of this included the management of resources and territories according to the numaym system, which in theory reflected a . William Halliday, quoted in Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.81. 2 4. Charles Nowell, in Clellan Ford, Smoke From Their Fires: The Life of a Kwakiutl Chief, Archon Books, 1968, p.156. 52 cosmic order. The person identified as most responsible for the organized objection by Christianized Kwakwaka'wakw to potlatching in Alert Bay in 1921 was described in a confidential letter to Barbeau as "...a very clever woman, who is a lieutenant of the Church. This woman has no high position in the potlatch, but she i s in high power with the Church. It is quite apparent that i f the Indians abandon the potlatch and go into the Church, she would be a leader among them."25 State assimilation efforts and the refutation of the potlatch system made by some Christian converts created serious conflict with those who continued to assert rank through potlatching, since the violation of the chiefly hierarchy was perceived, at least by non-Christianized members of the chiefly classes, as a disruption of the natural as well as social order. 2 6 Despite Halliday's moralistic objections and the in-roads of evangelical Christianity, the establishment of permanent European settlements in British Columbia may have accelerated potlatching. 2 7 The introduction of trade goods and wage labour 2 5. Barbeau, "The Potlatch," p.65. 2 6. Goldman, Mouth of Heaven, p.48. 2 7. In 1849, the Hudson's Bay Company established a coal mine and trading post at Fort Rupert on Beaver Harbour. Four tribes settled at the site making Fort Rupert the largest Kwakwaka'wakw settlement, a centre of ceremonial activity until i t s eclipse by the establishment of the salmon cannery at Alert Bay on Queen Charlotte Strait in 1870, and beginning a long tradition of resettlement and tribal amalgamation. Alert Bay, with it s Anglican mission, sawmill, residential and industrial schools, and Kwawkewlth Indian Agency office was also at the centre of the many of the social and economic changes introduced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (Ibid, p.363.) 53 in combination enabled more people to hold larger potlatches. In conjunction with population depletion due to the spread of infectious diseases, there were empty numaym positions, which encouraged "...a flexible and opportunistic use of every possible means of f i l l i n g the positions and using them in potlatching." 2 8 Drucker and Heizer even report that the "...introduction of the element of outwitting the agent gave an added zest. It is quite clear that the potlatch became even more esteemed and cherished, acquiring overtones of defiance of the unwelcome authority of the agent, defiance of the laws of white c i v i l i z a t i o n that the Indians f e l t were closing in on them."29 And as Scott tabled amendments to f a c i l i t a t e the enforcement of the potlatch ban, many Kwakwaka'wakw continued to assert their right to a ceremonial system because i t reproduced their authority. The Cranmer potlatch then, "the largest ever recorded on the coast," 3 0 was a climactic confrontation between two holders of authoritative positions and two modes of constructing authority. III. The Cranmer Potlatch The Cranmer potlatch was part of the marriage ceremonial cycle for which Halliday had expressed such dislike and included 2 8. Philip Drucker and Robert F. Heizer, To Make My Name Good: A Reexamination of the Southern Kwakiutl Potlatch, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967, p.31. 2 9. Ibid, pp.33-34. 3 0. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.119. 54 the transfer of rights to Winter Ceremonial dances-31 As Chaikin and Cole point out, w[t]he potlatch was...Emma Cranmer's 'repurchase, ' 3 2 followed by (Dan) Cranmer's distribution of the goods received from his wife and her family as well as more of his own."33 With at least three hundred guests, the f e s t i v i t i e s lasted five days. The f i r s t two days consisted of Dan Cranmer's repayment of earlier loans and the transfer of property from Emma Cranmer's side. This included B i l l y Assu's payment of $2000 in blankets and g i f t of the rights to a xwexwe (Qwee-qwee in Sewid-Smith's transcription) dance and names. Hanuse, acting for Emma Cranmer, gave Dan Cranmer canoes, furniture and other goods. In addition, a copper34 changed hands several times before ending up as Dan Cranmer's property along with $3000 cash. He also received sewing machines, bracelets and money. At the conclusion Goldman, Mouth of Heaven, p.80. . After the i n i t i a l marriage had been sealed by the distribution of gifts, which "...functioned as a payment to the members of the [groom]'s village who had accompanied him to witness the marriage....The parents of the bride... sought to amass as much wealth as possible. The young couple also accumulated property with the assistance of the groom's father and turned i t over to the girl's parents. Three or four years after the wedding, when the bride's family had acquired enough wealth, they brought i t in canoes to the groom's family. An important part of this property was a copper, referred to as the 'mast of the canoe,' which was given to the groom. The groom later distributed the property in a potlatch to those tribes who had come to witness the transaction, the amount thus paid by the bride's father was many times the amount originally received by him at the wedding; he attempted to return as much as he could for by his liberality he gained prestige and honour." (Ford, Smoke From Their Fires, pp.37-38.) 3 3. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.119. 3 4. Copper shields were important symbols of wealth displayed, transferred or sometimes broken in Kwakwaka'wakw potlatches. (Ibid, pp.150-151.) 55 of t h i s paying back, Herbert Martin danced the hamatsa and James Knox the q' ominoqa.35 The next section, what Cole and Chaikin refer to as Cranmer*s "giving away," i s described by Dan Cranmer himself i n An Iron Hand Upon the People: "I started giving out the property," he ! (Cranmer) r e c a l l e d . " F i r s t the canoes," twenty four of them, "some big ones." He gave pool tables to two chi e f s . Such large g i f t s cast high honour upon Cranmer and incurred a deep obligation upon the recipients to match the gesture i n future. " I t r e a l l y hurt them," commented Cranmer; "They said i t was the same,as breaking a copper," another display of unsparing wealth. Assu received a gas boat and $50 cash. Three more gas boats were given away and another pool table. Dresses, shawls and bracelets went to the women, sweaters and s h i r t s to the young people. For the children, small change: "I threw i t away for the kids to get," Cranmer remembered. Then came blankets, gas l i g h t s , v i o l i n s , guitars, basins, glasses, wasntubs, teapots, boxes, three hundred oak trunks, sewing machines, gramophones, bedsteads, bureaus, and more cash. F i n a l l y on Christmas Day, the f i f t h and l a s t day of the ceremony, came the sacks of f l o u r . (Angermann recorded "about 4 00" sacks, Cranmer r e c a l l e d 1000 at three d o l l a r s each.) Moses A l f r e d handed them down to ca r r i e r s Kenneth Hunt, Johnson Cook, and Peter and James Knox, while Sam Scow c a l l e d out the rec i p i e n t s . "Everyone admits," said Cranmer, "that t h i s was the biggest yet." 3 6 Daisy Sewid-Smith, i n Prosecution or Persecution (1979), transcribed her recording of Mecha (Herbert Martin, brother to Cole and Chaikin, 7An Iron Hand Upon the People, p. 119. 3 6. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, pp.119-120. Although unidentified i n the main text of Cole and Chaikin's book, the l i k e l y source for this i s the 1975 film: Potlatch!: A S t r i c t Law Bids Us Dance, 16 mm, 53 min. Al e r t Bay: U'mista Cultural Society, 1975, c i t e d i n Cole and Chaikin's bibliography (Ibid, p.222.) 56 art i s t Mungo Martin), an important participant, describing the potlatch and the activities involved, in particular the transfer of the rights to the ceremonial names and dances: You w i l l now listen to what happened to Pul-na-Qwa-Lus Walkus (Dan Cranmer) when he Num-bun-gil-ha-lud (To do everything together. Feasting and Potlatching were usually held separately but because of the continual threat of imprisonment i t was done together). In that great thing he did. When Zoh-la-lee-tlee-louq (the late Emma Cranmer) completed their marriage contract at Village Island.... They invited the Kwakiutl (Fort Rupert), invited the Mamalillikulla (Village Island), Tla-wee-jees (Turnour Island), Da-naoq-douk (New Vancouver), the four clans of the Ja-wah-da-nooq (Kingcome Inlet). They a l l came to Village Island....Zoh-la-lee-tlee-louq (Emma Cranmer) asked me to go to Hamatsa, so I went. The people were a l l gathered at the house of Hanuse at Village Island. The dancing began. I went out to dance when they sang for me. I danced and then everybody danced. It was finished. The dancing was finished for the night. Next day we danced a l l day and night. Yeh-koo-cla-lus (Emma Cranmer's other name) completed her marriage contract to Gwa-gwa-duk-ka-la (Dan Cranmer). She gave as part of her dowry to him the Qwee-Qwee dance (the Qwee-Qwee dance was given as part of her dowry by Chief B i l l y Assu of Cape Mudge). Jooq-jay-sah (Harry Glendale) was in one mask and his younger brother Kum-kah-kaw-weed (George Glendale) was in the other. Somebody would y e l l , Wooee! and they were the people that got arrested....Without our knowledge Kenneth Hunt was writing names down....Little did we know that we were going to be arrested. Gwim-kah-ness (Sam Matilpi) was paying his security. High-yahlth-kin (John Whonnock) was speaking. His wife was the Potlatch recorder. She was recording securities given to the women....Recording as they were given something. They gave things away. Gwa-gwa-duk-ka-la (Dan Cranmer) gave trunks, pots, pans. Gave away a l l kinds of things.... That is what you c a l l Num-bun-gil-ha-la (at the 57 same time) what he did.... 37 Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant Donald Angermann investigated and charged the principals involved. In the t r i a l , Halliday shared the bench with A. M. Wastell. W. Murray of the McTaggart and E l l i s law firm represented the defense. 3 8 Historian Tina Loo outlines the three 'logics of dispute' in the Kwakwaka'wakw defence. First, they invoked tradition, suggesting that they stood outside Canadian law and could not be legitimately prosecuted. 3 9 Second, they drew analogies between their ceremony and those practised by the Europeans. The most obvious choice for this was Christmas, which, like the potlatch, was a social and spiritual ceremony, linking the present with the past and celebrated with gift-giving. 4 0 Finally, and most disingenuously, they argued that the potlatch was an economic transaction and in accordance with Canadian laws of obligation. 4 1 In the end, Halliday would have none of the complicated arguments against prosecution and the defence altered the four i n i t i a l pleas to guilty after hearing the strength of Angermann's case. They then presented an agreement to no longer potlatch signed by the defendants and some f i f t y others. Angermann would not accept such a compromise, claiming that several accused had already signed similar agreements and were now before the court 3 7 Sewid-Smith, Persecution or Prosecution, pp.55-57. 3 8 Loo, "Dan Cranmer's Potlatch," pp.159-160. 3 9 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 58 again. 4 2 Instead, Angermann suggested "more tangible evidence of good f a i t h , " 4 3 namely the surrender of potlatch paraphernalia by a l l members of the Kwawkewlth agency. The decision that now lay with some three hundred audience members present at the Cranmer potlatch was either to go to prison during a time that would infringe on the beginning of fishing season, thus presenting a severe financial test for heads of families (and a possible burden for the government) or surrender the physical embodiments of the encounters of their ancestors with the supernatural world (objects symbolic of contemporary prestige and status), to quit entirely the public practice of transferring, perpetuating, celebrating and legitimizing the powers gained through these ancestral encounters, and to assist Euro-Canadian authorities in suppressing this practice among a l l their neighbours and family. By March 31, a l l the decisions had come in. The Lekwiltok of Quadra Island, the Mamalillikulla of Village Island and the Nimpkish of Alert Bay surrendered their coppers and dancing gear. "I guess i t was like paying a fine so that they would not go to prison," said Ack-koo (Agnes Alfred). "They paid with their . For example, Johnny Bagwany and Ned Harris had been given suspended sentences in 1914. Cessahollis of Kingcome Inlet was also given a suspended sentence the following year. Likiosa (Johnnie Seaweed) and Kwosteetsas (Japanese Charlie) received the minimum penalty in 1919, but were released after their employers, B.C. Packers, provided bail bonds for $1000 each. The posting of two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in Alert Bay late in 1919 resulted in eight imprisonments at Burnaby's Oakalla Prison over the next two years, including Charles Nowell who was released on probation after six weeks. (Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, pp.108-118.) 4 3. Loo, "Dan Cranmer's Potlatch," p.120. 59 masks."44 Seven offenders refused to pay this price: Jim Hall of Karlakwees and six more from Fort Rupert. Angermann pressed charges in April against a further seventeen present at the Cranmer potlatch and three active in potlatches on Harbledown Island the previous January and February. Five were given suspended sentences for playing minor roles or signing the agreement. Of the remaining fifteen, a l l opted for the Oakalla Prison Farm in Burnaby, Vancouver's immediate municipal neighbour to the east. Of the twenty-two that Angermann accompanied south on April 10, 1922, twenty-one had been given two month sentences, with Nimpkish Charlie Hunt receiving six months for his second conviction. 4 5 Emma Cranmer, as a member of the Nimpkish band, had submitted her paraphernalia and signed the agreement. Nonetheless, she was "in a prison of her own for she blamed herself for what happened and continually wept over i t . " 4 6 "Emma tried to offer herself to go in the place of the women arrested, but she was refused," writes Sewid-Smith. "She took i t upon herself to see to the needs of the prisoners out of her own earnings from the cannery. She followed them to Vancouver. She supplied their needs and waited for their release... and she paid Quoted in Sewid-Smith, Persecution or Prosecution, p.47. 4 5. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, pp.108-118. 4 6. Sewid-Smith, Persecution or Prosecution, p.4. for a l l their expenses...[,] " 4 7 which included providing food, and covering street car fares, restaurant and hotel b i l l s , and the steamship tickets back to Alert Bay.48 Despite Emma Cranmer's dignified and responsible actions, an event aimed at transferring spiritual and terrestrial property between lineage groups and cementing the social position of the participants involved had turned into a public catastrophe. IV. The Halliday Display The surrendered potlatch regalia and coppers were put on exhibit at the Alert Bay parish hall for an admission price of twenty five cents. Halliday charged admission in order to cover the price of the h a l l , 4 9 but i t seems particularly ironic given that Alert Bay was a cannery town in the heart of Kwakwaka'wakw territory and therefore at the heart of the potlatching controversy: one wonders exactly who made up the paying audience. Two photographs, one of which is attributed to Halliday himself in the Royal British Columbia Museum's (RBCM) Visual Archives, il l u s t r a t e how his display of the seized objects exemplified Nicholas Thomas's assertion that colonial authorities viewed colonized societies as "objects to be surveyed, regulated and sanitized." 5 0 In Halliday's photograph, an unnamed man identified as a "paid orator" from the Cranmer potlatch poses in 4 7. Ibid, pp.4-6. 4 8. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon The People, p.122. 4 9. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.71. 5 0. Thomas, Colonialism's Culture, p.4. 61 front of a white sheet in the parish hall (figure 2). He wears a crest-displaying carved headdress and a button blanket, both normally worn on ceremonial occasions. He holds his coppers in hand slightly away from his body to the front, so the camera audience can see, and two masks l i e by his feet. The mask on his right i s a thunderbird headdress and on his l e f t , a wolf, both of which appear in the Winter ceremonials. 5 1 Perhaps intended by Halliday as a record for posterity of the last time such regalia was actually worn, this representation is strikingly eloquent. Although dressed in the symbolic references to the myth-time origins of his numaym, symbols that served to perpetuate ancestral powers, the sanitized absence of the enacting songs, lineage myths, ritualized dance and gesture, the very anonymity of the individual photographed, displaces and disempowers both the objects and the human histories they refer to. While the photograph is silent concerning indigenous views of the potlatch, i t s practices and paraphernalia, i t speaks volumes of Euro-Canadian intentions to recontextualize potlatch objects within a Euro-Canadian environment as touristic/anthropological representations of the past. This silence on indigenous views is significant in the context in which the photograph was taken and the regalia seized. The photograph, i t s posture and process, constitute an intermediary step in which meaning for the paraphernalia was reconfigured, transformed from sacred tool for the reaffirmation of a cosmic and social structure to a signifier of a past now beyond retrieval. While both Kwakwaka'wakw and 5 1. Goldman, Mouth of Heaven, p.107. Euro-Canadian understandings of these objects shared a historical orientation, one celebrated the role of the past in the present and the other distanced the past from the present. The second photograph, by Reverend V.S. Lord, is of Halliday's display inside the church hall (figure 3). Piled on the benches are the various masks and props, including masks of the various supernatural birds of the sky: Huxwhukw and crooked beak masks of the hamatsa dances.52 In this photograph, the displacement is carried one step further than Halliday's "paid orator" image. A l l connection to contemporary l i f e is erased with the absence of the owners. In this sterile space, the masks l i e as i f decapitated. Severed from the enlivening body of r i t u a l , they are now only trophy heads - a premonition of the objects' new l i f e in the National Museum. "Dancing robes and masks without dancers," writes Ki-ke-in (Ron Hamilton) in his recent poem "Box of Darkness." "Symbols without s p i r i t s . " 5 3 The two photographs further share the same "indeterminate terrain" 5 4 that Annie Coombes argues was uncomfortably occupied by early twentieth century anthropology, "...at pains to justify 5 2. B i l l Holm, Smoky-Top: The Art and Times of Willie Seaweed, Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and Mclntyre, 1983, pp.94-117. 5 3. Ki-ke-in (Ron Hamilton), "Box of Darkness," In Celebration of Our Survival; The First Nations of British Columbia, Eds. Doreen Jensen and Cheryl Brooks, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1991, p.63. Hamilton makes a point similar to Martine Reid's notion of "a sign without a signifier," although Hamilton is writing of the masks' relocation to the museum and attributes the loss of meaning to non-Native anthropologists and curators. 5 4. Annie E. Coombes, Reinventing Africa: Museums, Material Culture and Popular Imagination in Late Victorian and Edwardian England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994, p.214. 63 i t s existence on a broadly based popular educational level, a rigorous s c i e n t i f i c level and on a practical level as the helpmate of the state." 5 5 Since colonized societies and the objects they produced were necessarily destroyed by the process of colonization, i t was the duty of those at the forefront of modernity's intrusion into the societies of the "less advanced" to vigorously record what colonialism displaced. The photographs lent s c i e n t i f i c support to Halliday's actions, providing a visual record of the objects he seized. While the objects themselves were trophies partly symbolic of Halliday's success in his anti-potlatch campaign, their new metaphorical significance lay in allusions to the displacement of indigenous traditions by Western modernity and their " a l t r u i s t i c " preservation within the spaces of modern science through the photographs and then later their storage on museum shelves. Halliday had been instructed by his superiors to ship a l l the material to the National Museum in Ottawa, but before finishing crating, he sold thirty-five pieces for $291 to the American collector George Heye, founder of New York's Museum of the American Indian. 5 6 It is curious that Heye, from New York, would have been in Alert Bay at such a fortuitous moment, in the middle of winter. It is a possibility that he was informed by somebody with inside knowledge in British Columbia. Halliday received a reprimand for this, especially because he sold the material to an American collector. "...[T]he Department is at a 5 5. Ibid, p.109. 5 6. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.251. 64 loss to understand your action in disposing of them without authority, more especially in view of the fact that they are to be taken to the United States, when they should have remained in a Canadian museum," wrote J. D. McLean, Scott's assistant, to Halliday in September 1922. "Your explanation as to obtaining a good value for them is not considered sufficient to justify this unwarranted action. I presume, however, that the articles are now beyond recall, but on no consideration are you to dispose of any of the rest..." 5 7 The remaining seventeen cases, not including the coppers (figure 4), were appraised in Ottawa by museum anthropologist Edward Sapir at $1456. Many anthropologists, including Harlan I. Smith and Edward Sapir of the National Museum of Canada, Franz Boas of the American Museum of Natural History, C. F. Newcombe from the Provincial Museum in Victoria, and John Swanton of the Smithsonian, were outspoken in their opposition to the potlatch ban, arguing against the economic and moral implications of such a legislation. 5 8 However, part of Sapir's job was to appraise the objects and then receive them for storage and display at the museum in Ottawa. Caught in Coombes1 "indeterminate terrain," Sapir and the others found themselves in the "...ambivalent position as simultaneously c r i t i c and advocate of government policies..." 5 9 Sapir's valuation was deemed entirely inadequate by the surrendering families, but no compensation at a l l was paid for 5 7. Quoted in Sewid-Smith, Persecution or Prosecution, p.75. 5 8. See Barbeau, "The Potlatch." 5 9. Coombes, Reinventing Africa, pp.111-112. 65 the coppers. 6 0 Sapir himself, perhaps aiming to depress the prices of the objects given his more limited financial resources than those of private collectors like Heye, said that he considered his own total "a very moderate figure from the standpoint of an ethnological museum"61 and Halliday responded to Kwakwaka'wakw dissatisfaction in his recollections as Indian Agent, Potlatch and Totem, suggesting that any argument over value rested simply on differences in opinion and the market demands for older objects. He wrote: "Some of the things for which good prices were paid, the ordinary individual would not consider worth anything at a l l , while some of the things were more or less new and though in many instances were much better looking, they only brought fair to low prices, as to those learned in the antiquities of the Indians they had l i t t l e historic value." 6 2 At the core this contradictory mix of historical and financial valuation was not simply a difference in opinion rooted in market conditions, but the governmental policy of assimilating First Nations. Based on this intent, the implementation of the anti-potlatch sections of the Indian Act affected First Nations object production and i t s display in a number of ways. First, state o f f i c i a l s denied the valuation system of Kwakwaka'wakw 6 0. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, pp.122-23. 6 1. Edward Sapir to Duncan Campbell Scott, January 29, 1923, from Canadian Museum of Civilization Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File 58. 6 2. W. M. Halliday, Potlatch and Totem and the Recollections of an Indian Agent, London and Toronto: J.M. Dent, 1935, pp.192-193. 66 society by refusing any appraisal based on potlatch economics or symbolism. Instead, they provided their own appraiser in anthropologist Sapir, who, as seems clear from Halliday's recollections, in turn valued the potlatch objects on the c r i t e r i a of the curio/museum commodity market. The seemingly contradictory roles that Euro-Canadian authorities could play within this framework of valuation is further demonstrated by Halliday, who on one hand enforced assimilationist state policy in his position as Indian Agent, and on the other dealt the seized objects on the commodity market through his sale of goods to Heye. Second, this signalled the active participation of state o f f i c i a l s in the reconfiguration of these objects. While the National Museum had been collecting such objects since i t s inception, nowhere are the p o l i t i c a l implications of this reconfiguration so clear nor so active as in Halliday's exhibition. What Halliday explicitly demonstrated was that the conditions of display, in particular the motivation informing the display, controlled the acceptance or denial of the ideological value of these objects. Integral with the social systems of the Northwest Coast, these potlatch ceremonies controlled the display of the objects and generated the production and acceptance of social position as validated by a cosmic order. By refusing this ceremonial context, the general effect was the denial of the social positions i t generated within First Nations communities. Halliday's display forcibly demonstrated Euro-Canadian a b i l i t y to appropriate First Nations possessions, whether masks, land, or 67 labour. The. fact that he could easily s e l l some of them emphasized that what was most at stake was control/ implicitly negating any concept of land or resource ownership associated with such status. Further, the physical movement of objects from First Nations to state hands, from British Columbia to Ottawa, was a potent symbol of the movement of First Nations peoples from autonomy to subjugation and dependence. In this movement, the objects took on a different metonymic relationship. Whereas in a First Nations potlatch, they could be symbolic of the inheritance of both tangible and intangible property, in the Euro-Canadian museum they could by metonyms for the peoples as well as the lands brought under Euro-Canadian control. The reconfiguration of indigenous objects and the potlatch thus contributed to the creation of a new social position for First Nations people within Canada. As either art or antiquity, objects s t i l l retained commercial value. First Nations individuals could continue to produce the objects, but only as another commodity. First Nations had produced objects for commodity-exchange at the very least since i n i t i a l European contact. As commodities, these objects propelled an active and beneficial (especially for the Euro-Canadian dealers) market. But the Halliday display asserted that the symbolic value invested in both the object and i t s owner through potlatching was now vestigial. This worked to secure their status as a new labour class and, in conjunction with the potlatch ban, to maintain Anglo-Celtic p o l i t i c a l hegemony by asserting a new law of the land. A l l this occurred at a time when non-British 6 8 immigration was perceived as a threat as well to the interests of Canada's primarily British bourgeoisie. 6 3 Both a poet and an administrator, Indian Affairs Deputy Superintendent Duncan Campbell Scott took a personal interest in the objects. Sapir forwarded a l i s t of the objects seized and shipped to Ottawa directly to Scott in October 1922, complete with indications of which objects were selected by the National Museum. C. T. Currelly of the Royal Ontario Museum had contacted Scott prior to the objects' arrival requesting examples for the "other large Museum of Canada,"64 so i t seems Halliday's charge of the objects having " l i t t l e historic value" was not shared by Currelly, Sapir or Scott. By January 1923, Sapir had further divided the newly indexed collection into three groups: the f i r s t for the National Museum, the second for the Ontario Museum, and the third containing, in Sapir's words to Scott, "those that we b J. Through the 1920s, a number of government actions attacked deviation from the concept of a core British Canadian identity. The federal government enacted the 1923 Chinese Immigration Act to virtually halt Chinese immigration until after the Second World War. The imposition of mandatory schooling saw the burning of nine schools in British Columbia between 1923 and 1925 and the provincial government's invocation of the Infants Act beginning in 1929 to seize Doukhobor children as wards of the state. (John P. S. McLaren, "'New Canadians' or 'Slaves of Satan?'? The Law and the Education of Doukhobor Children, 1911-1935," Unpublished Document November 1994.) In an order in council, the federal government also prohibited the entry of Doukhobors, Mennonites, and Hutterites because of the "...peculiar customs, habits, modes of l i f e and method of holding property, and because of their probable inability to become readily assimilated or to assume the duties and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship within a reasonable time after their entry." (Quoted in Knowles, Strangers at Our Gates, p.100.) 6 4. Duncan Campbell Scott to Edward Sapir, October 9, 1922, from Canadian Museum of Civilization Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File -58. 69 suggest putting aside for your own use." 6 5 A l l the masks were valued and invoiced at a total of $74 and sent to Scott at the end of February 19 2 3 , 6 6 where they began their new l i f e as trophies in his Department of Indian Affairs office. Scott was careful in departmental correspondence and took pains to make sure the material he requested personally was properly invoiced and ce r t i f i e d "that the prices charged are fair and just, to meet the requirements of the Auditor-General's 68 office." 6' A bird mask with four interchangeable mouth-pieces owned by J. Kalokwami was added to Scott's request at which time Scott had a voucher issued immediately. However, Cole states that some Kwakwaka'wakw do not remember receiving compensation. Henry Bell, for one, insisted that he packed six masks to Halliday's boat, although Cole suggests only three were inventoried 6 9 and in the l i s t sent to Scott from Sapir now available through the 6 5. Edward Sapir to Duncan Campbell Scott, January 29, 1923, from Canadian Museum of Civilization Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File 58. 6 6. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.254. 6 7. Duncan Campbell Scott to Edward Sapir, March 17, 1923, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File 58. 6 8. Given this description, i t is more likely that this was an echo or Sopali mask. Called "dialogue masks" by Hawthorn, these "...carried on a light banter and humorous conversation with each other and with the spectators.... Some of these Sopali masks, and a l l of the echo masks, were fitted with sets of wooden mouthpieces representing different characters." (Audrey Hawthorn, Art of the Kwakiutl Indians and Other Northwest Coast Tribes, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1967, p.283.) 6 9. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.253. 70 Canadian Museum of Civilization archives only two are recorded. 7 0 There seem to be a number of discrepancies associated with the inventory. At points, extras are included, while at others, objects are identified as "not found." There were s t i l l other objects for which ownership was in doubt. There appears to be no uncertainty concerning the coppers. Quite simply, no payment was ever made. Sapir asked Scott about this in May 1923, inquiring whether "the purchase of the Coppers is s t i l l pending...or would you instruct me to consider them as already the property of the Victoria Memorial Museum?"71 He went on to suggest assembling data on the coppers, presumably through interviews with their former owners, although i t is hard to imagine why they would co-operate in such a matter. Sapir's ultimate goal was the publication of an associated bulletin. Scott hardly acknowledged this in his secretary's responding letter, ending the correspondence with the ambiguous statement that he "would be glad to discuss the matter...personally..." 7 2 with Sapir. In the end, Scott must have fe l t that adequate compensation had already been issued. Scott exemplifies the ideology of social progress in the 1920s throughout Euro-Canadian society. The notions of a "fatal 7 0. "List of potlatch paraphernalia surrendered at Alert Bay and shipped to Ottawa," from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File 58. 7 1. Edward Sapir to Duncan Campbell Scott, May 14, 1923, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File 58. 7 2. Secretary to the Deputy to Edward Sapir, May 16, 1923, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence Box 429, File 58. 71 impact" and the disappearance of First Nations societies in the evolution towards European modernism simultaneously appeared in both Euro-Canadian a r t i s t i c expression and government strategy. The nostalgic tone of the myth of the "Vanishing American" in Scott's poetry contributed to Department of Indian Affairs policy under his direction. Scott actively suppressed First Nations ceremonies while poetically implying that the people themselves were gone, their landscape now empty and ripe for development, their history now available to legitimate European presence. Yet, although social progress informed the discourses of Canadian art and law, i t s influence was also unstable; i t s acceptance increasingly uncertain in Ottawa's growing post-World War I independence from London. There were growing contradictions in Euro-Canada's approach to First Nations peoples. Even Scott was clearly interested in First Nations societies and their modes of creative expression. As Stan Dragland writes in his literary history Floating Voice, a " . . . d i f f i c u l t puzzle... is...how to reconcile Scott's attractive and apparently humane poems and stories about Indians...with the dreadful legacy of his administration of Indian A f f a i r s . " 7 3 The short solution to Dragland's puzzle is that in further analysis there is no contradiction. Scott was only interested in First Nations societies as something of the romanticized past, rather than of the contested present. His literary construction echoed his administrative policy by reinforcing the image of colonial Stan Dragland, Floating Voice: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Literature of Treaty 9, Concord, Ontario: Anasi, 1994, p.5. 72 displacement. Scott's own ambivalence - his desire to study, celebrate and simultaneously suffocate indigenous ways in order to control them or to keep them in the past - mirror larger conflicts in the process of Canada's colonization and the projects of construction that supported i t . Scott's activities therefore affirm Thomas's argument that "[c]olonizers have also frequently been divided by strategic interests and differing visions of the c i v i l i z i n g mission;... frequently split... .between impulses to define new lands as vacant spaces for European achievement, and a will.to define and collect and map the cultures which already possessed them; and in the definition of colonizers' identities, which had to reconcile the c i v i l i t y and values of home with the raw novelty of sites of settlement." 7 4 Summary Prosecutions for potlatching continued through the late 1920s. Other groups, notably the Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island and the Gitksan of the upper Skeena River valley, also saw convictions. Agent G. C. Mortimer charged Gitxsan potlatchers John Smith and Tom Campbell in 1931. Smith received a one month suspended sentence while Campbell received three months later suspended on the condition that he no longer participate in such events. Mortimer's reasoning for the harsher sentence for Campbell was that he was the "I.W.W. type," 7 5 referring to the 7 4. Thomas, Colonialism's Culture, pp.2-3. 7 5. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.125. 73 International Woodworkers Union, one of the labour unions to gain prominence with the rise of socialism in British Columbia immediately after the First World War and again in the Great Depression, when over 18,000 men in the province were housed in re l i e f camps.76 The Cranmer potlatch has come to epitomize the enforcement of the potlatch ban. While Halliday and others proclaimed the passing of the potlatch with the Cranmer arrests, this was far from the truth. Upon his release, Mecha (Herbert Martin) gave a grease potlatch 7 7 at the oolichan fishery in Knight Inlet "...so that I may, as we use to do in ancient times, cleanse those that were put in prison with me..."78 and then distributed almost four thousand gallons of oolichan o i l from Blunden Harbour to Alert Bay to Newitti. 7 9 There are numerous other stories of how many people on the coast either adapted the potlatch after 1922 splitting, for example, the giving and dancing portions of the celebrations in order to circumvent the restrictions of the Indian Act, or simply holding smaller potlatches in hidden or more remote locations. 8 0 Drucker and Heizer stressed that potlatching continued despite 7 6. Margaret Ormsby, British Columbia: A History, Toronto: Macmillan, 1958, pp.439-469. 7 7. Boas reports that "...grease feasts are given in order to destroy the prestige of the r i v a l . . . " (Boas, Kwakiutl Ethnography, p.96.) 7 8. Sewid-Smith, Persecution or Prosecution, p.63. 7 9. Cole and Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People, p.122. 8 0. Drucker and Heizer, To Make My Name Good, p.33. 74 administrative pressures against i t and attributed l u l l s in potlatch activities in the 1930s to economic reasons like the Great Depression and the fishermen's strike of 1936.81 The ban did not destroy the potlatch. The production of objects for the potlatch continued and even contributed to the creative development of three of the now best known Kwakwaka'wakw artists in the 1930s and 1940s: Charlie James, Willie Seaweed and Mungo Martin. 8 2 Because of socio-political chasm enforced through the Indian Act and i t s various amendments, the meanings about Northwest Coast objects constructed in museum contexts differed significantly from those constructed in potlatch settings. When First Nations ceremonies involved Euro-Canadian dignitaries, the threatening and supposedly regressive nature of the potlatch or any other First Nations event dissipated, replaced in public conception by a sense of quaint, colourful nostalgia. The potlatch and the objects used in i t were not the issue. Government o f f i c i a l s were instead more interested in assuming control over when these kinds of ceremonies could be held and what the intent behind them was to be. The harsher result of the ban was the attempted replacement of Northwest Coast social structure and i t s methods for controlling and acknowledging social status and resource ownership with British modes of authority, which in turn was part of a larger programme aimed at expropriating and securing the continental land base for development and providing a pliant labour force. Convenient by-8 1. Ibid, p.147. 8 2. See Nuytten, The Totem Carvers, and B i l l Holm, Smoky-Top. 75 products of the potlatch ban were the encouragement of conversion to Christianity and the intensifying commoditization of Northwest Coast ceremonial objects. Of course, a vibrant market for First Nations objects already existed; this commodity value may have even saved such objects from large-scale destruction. A number of people participated in the curio market while engaged the enforcement of the potlatch ban. Halliday 1s sale of goods to Heye after the Lekwiltok, Mamalillikulla and Nimpkish had turned over their paraphernalia is one example. Powell collected for the American Museum of Natural History 8 3 and Angermann turned up at a meeting of the Vancouver Art, Historical and Scientific Association in 1926, only four years after the Cranmer prosecutions, with $250 worth of Alert Bay objects for sale. 8 4 And for Scott, whose real passion, Titley suggests, was the arts, so that his position as deputy superintendent was "...a mere source of income,"85 the shipment of seized paraphernalia to Ottawa must have been a day when passion and income coincided. Halliday's display, an overt example of how Euro-Canadian displays contributed to the displacement of indigenous systems, was the f i r s t in a series of public displays following the 8 3. Aldona Jonaitis, From the Land of the Totem Poles: The Northwest Coast Indian Art Collection at the American Museum of Natural History, New York: American Museum of Natural History and Vancouver and Toronto: Douglas and Mclntyre, 1991, p.71-73. 8 4. Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver Directors' Meeting, May 4, 1926, CAV Add. Mss. 336. 8 5. Brian Titley, A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration of Indian Affairs, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986, p.204. 7 6 Cranmer prosecutions that valued objects associated with the rituals so ardently opposed by o f f i c i a l s with the Department of Indian Affairs. Federal projects after 1922 reconfigured these objects as a quaint aspect of Canada's past, asserting Canadian proprietary rights in the face of American and other foreign museums and continuing the efforts of state o f f i c i a l s to control both the meanings of the objects and the contexts in which these meanings could be constructed. Halliday seizing and displaying the Cranmer potlatch objects, like Scott simultaneously negotiating Treaty 9 in northern Ontario and writing poetically "...the race has waned...,"86 also clearly exemplifies the proximity between appropriation and repression. 6. Dragland, Floating Voice. 77 CHAPTER 2 Totem Poles i n Stanley Park Assimilation strategies and the removal of potlatch paraphernalia and totem poles to museums on the eastern side of the continent a l l seemed to confirm that the past uses for such objects no longer continued. Instead, the objects could now be used in the construction of a local identity important to the promotion of tourism, immigration and investment. By the 1920s, after four decades of the collecting activities of museums and curio shops, of tourist steamship lines running the Inside Passage from Olympia to Skagway, totem poles had become a pervasive, primitivist symbol closely associated with the region. 1 At the same time that Scott's intensified implementation of the potlatch ban and the National Museum's involvement in the relocation of the seized Cranmer objects represented a heightened interest in the regulation of these objects at a federal level, civic leaders throughout the Pacific Northwest recognized the u t i l i t y of the totem pole in advertising the success and identity of their new centres. Totem poles in a city setting also suggested how l i f e on the coast had "progressed" from primitive village to urban modernity. With civic growth, more municipal agencies began to explore the po s s i b i l i t i e s of purchasing and re-erecting crest poles and house posts. Vancouver had rapidly ascended to the position of western 1. Cole, Captured Heritage. 78 Canada's commercial hub by the 1920s.2 A construction boom, the expansion of commercial services, and an active social l i f e a l l added to Vancouver's identity as the modern heart of the northwestern section of the continent (despite or through i t s rivalry with neighbouring Seattle). The f i r s t local, permanent memorialization of totem poles outside either museum or indigenous contexts in Canada thus occurred in Vancouver, where the placement of "antique" Kwakwaka'wakw totem poles in Stanley Park, across Coal Harbour from the Canadian Pacific Railway station and at the Burrard Narrows entrance into the harbour, made a highly visible modern/primitive juxtaposition near the heart of the city. However, this project was additionally significant because of Squamish resistance to i n i t i a l plans for a f u l l , reconstructed Kwakwaka'wakw village and their demands for the acknowledgement of a livin g Squamish presence in the park. It also contributed to the regulated federal control of totem poles and other Northwest Coast objects by provoking Ottawa's decision to designate totem poles a Canadian heritage resource in order to prevent other ci t i e s from following Vancouver's example. John Oliver, the province's Liberal premier, had built his administration on the expansion of British Columbia's road network emanating outward from Vancouver. Through the early 1920s, the provincial revenues rose through the sale of motor and liquor licenses. The recently-completed South Okanagan irrigation project spurred on increases in fruit revenues, the fisheries and lumber industries were booming through geographic and technological expansion and diversification, (Diane Newell, Tangled Webs of History: Indians and the Law in Canada's Pacific Coast Fisheries, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1993, p.98, and Hardwick, Geography of the Forest Industry, pp.1-15.) 79 I. Totem Poles i n Stanley Park Even before the erection of totem poles in Vancouver/ Stanley Park3 had historical importance for local residents. It was charted by Spanish explorers in the 1790s and was believed to be where George Vancouver met with local Squamish (Halkomelem Salishan-speaking) peoples. 4 It had been declared a Government Reserve in 1859 when war between Britain and the United States appeared imminent and was the site of five small logging operations from the 1860s to the 1880s. One of the earliest monuments in Stanley Park was an imitation classical temple made of cedar and f i r , popularly known as Lumberman's Arch (figure 5), that had been originally erected in 1912 at Pender and Hamilton Streets (figure 6) as a tribute to the v i s i t i n g Duke and Duchess of Connaught and then moved the following year to Stanley Park.5 J. Originally Government Reserve land, the 1000 acres of parkland was, with the 1886 announcement of Port Moody as the terminus for the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), considered too far removed from the original town of Granville (centred to the east along Burrard Inlet in what is now the city's Gastown neighbourhood) to be of any value. Steele believes that the City Council's petition for the creation of the park when the area lacked adequate docks, roads, schools, and health f a c i l i t i e s was part of a ploy to ensure low land prices until the CPR amended its location of the terminus to Vancouver to the west and adjacent to the park land, thus guaranteeing high profits for the landowners between Granville and the park. Stanley Park was o f f i c i a l l y opened in September 1888. (Mike Steele, Stanley Park, Surrey: Heritage House Publishing, 1993, pp.12-15.) 4. While the area north of Point Grey is generally identified as Squamish territory, Wayne Suttles suggests that Capilano, Mission, Seymour Creek, False Creek and Lumberman's Arch may have been Musqueam (who are Downriver Halkomelem) prior to 1850. (Suttles, "Central Coast Salish," Handbook, p.455.) This confusion is exacerbated by the forceable removal of XwayXway residents from Lumberman's Arch in the late 1880s and the consequent probable movement of people along kinship lines both north and south. Steele, Stanley Park, pp.47-50. 80 The new site for Lumberman's Arch was located on top of a large shell midden excavated around the turn of the century. 6 It had also been home to an historic Salish village, XwayXway.7 XwayXway's residents had been relocated during the small pox epidemic between 1888 and 1890, shortly after Stanley Park's o f f i c i a l 1887 opening. Most of the houses, including a central lodge called "Tay Hay,"8 were burnt to the ground. The three surviving houses were bought for $25 each and razed in 1900.9 Prior to the relocation of Lumberman's Arch, Stanley Park had been l e f t a natural reserve. Grandiose plans for the park's development were drawn up in the two years preceding the First World War, although not a l l the city's residents agreed on the direction this development should follow or even i f the city should develop the park at a l l . As Robert A. J. MacDonald argues, the public debate that erupted over plans for the park was divided along class lines and played out in the realm of public "culture," where the "upper stratum sought to foster art, music, science, and intellectual discourse as a means to counter the city's 'busy commercialism.'"10 The re-erection of 6. Ibid, pp.47-50. 7. XwayXway, variously spelt whoi-whoi, sxwaysway, sxwayxwey, xwexwe or qwee-qwee, is an important cleansing ceremony among the Salish peoples, normally the ritual property of a kin group, performed by two or more young men wearing distinctive costumes and masks. (Suttles, "Central Coast Salish," Handbook, p.468.) 8. This likely an anglicized variant of XwayXway. 9. Steele, Stanley Park, pp.47-50. 1 0. Robert A. J. MacDonald, Making Vancouver: Class, Status, and Social Boundaries, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1996, p.166. 81 Lumberman's Arch, a monument imitating classical form in local materials, resulted from local support of the City Beautiful movement just prior to the First World War, which advocated the taming of the park. 1 1 The focus for Vancouver's City Beautiful Movement became Coal Harbour, in close proximity to the growing city centre and plagued by a deteriorating bridge and foul-smelling t i d a l f l a t s . The Vancouver Board of Park Commissioners hired respected British park designer Thomas Mawson to propose improvements in 1912. Although ultimately hampered by compromises between disagreeing ci v i c groups, Mawson's plan, with i t s proposed changes to Stanley Park, 1 2 nonetheless put Coal Harbour and the surrounding periphery at the centre of the city's attention and led to the creation of playing fields and the erection of a number of monuments. The movement continued in s p i r i t after the First World War, when the Art, Historical and Scientific Association, a group described by MacDonald as "more British than the business community as a whole,"13 proposed the erection of more "historic" monuments in Stanley Park on the peninsula at the north side of Coal Harbour. With i t s membership interested in the creative expression of 1 1. Ibid, p.169. 1 2. "Mawson offered three plans: one to retain a tree-fringed waterline on the north side of a lagoon at the park entrance; another, far more utilitarian than the f i r s t , to create playgrounds for children and playing fields for adults by f i l l i n g the upper end of Coal Harbour; and a third, designed in the 'Grand Manner,' to feature three majestic neoclassical buildings surrounding a circular pond. At the centre was to be a statue atop a 'great shaft.'" (Ibid, p.170.) 1 3. Ibid, p.168. 82 both British Columbia's past and present, the Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver (AHSAV) maintained a social darwinist understanding of Vancouver's culture. When the organization was founded in 1894, for example, the distinction between art as something European and antiquity as something "Indian" was clear. Its constitution proposed that the primary objectives of the association were: To form a collection of paintings and works of art as a nucleus of an Art Gallery; To hold from time to time a Loan Exhibition of paintings and works of art; To form a Museum of Antiquities, especially of the remains of Indian l i f e in British Columbia and America.. . 1 4 Through the organization's incorporation under the Benevolent Societies Act in 1901 and i t s absorption into the city's p o l i t i c a l system as a quasi-municipal institution in 1903, the local separation between past and present, between "Indian" and "modern," was suggested. Given the convention combining tourism and the equation of appropriated First Nations "art" with Europe's past, i t was thus easy to propose in 1921, without thought to any possible conflicts with contemporary First Nations peoples, that the AHSAV obtain and re-erect "...an original Indian village and Hudson Bay Trading Post in Stanley Park."15 A committee was appointed to sort out any funding problems and arrange the ways and means with various connected public bodies and the Hudson's Bay Company. 1 4. Art, Historical, and Scientific Association of Vancouver Constitution 1894 (CAV Add. MSS. 336) 1 5. Minutes from AHSAV Annual Meeting, January 25, 1921 (CAV Add. MSS. 336). 83 Funding was of course a major focus for the committee, but the association enthusiastically instigated the planning procedures confident that "...the scheme, i f successfully carried out, would be a great attraction to Stanley Park and of great educational value in i l l u s t r a t i n g Indian and other early l i f e . " 1 6 By January 1923, two freestanding poles and two house posts (figure 7) purchased through an association member, Mrs. Schooley, for $764 arrived in Vancouver.17 The two house posts were carved by Charlie James (Yakutlas) 1 8 (figure 8) and originally belonged to Tsaweenok of Kingcome Inlet, where they served as interior supports for a house cross-beam.19 Both house posts depict a thunderbird with outstretched wings supported by a grizzly bear of equal size holding a smaller female figure. Furthermore, along with a replica of the Wakius pole, Edward 1 6. Ibid. 1 7. AHSAV Annual Meeting Minutes, January 1923, (CAV Add. MSS. 336) . 1 8. Charlie James was born Charles Jameson in Port Townsend, Washington around 1867. His father, Thomas Jameson, was an Anglo-American sawmill operator. His mother, 'Kugwisi'la'ogwa, was Kwakwaka'wakw from Fort Rupert. She died when James was ten years old and he was raised by his maternal grandmother in Victoria and Fort Rupert. When he was young, an accidental shotgun discharge le f t him with only the thumb and the major part of his forefinger on his l e f t hand. This physical impairment prevented his participation in the forestry and fishing industries and he was thus one of the few full-time Kwakwaka'wakw carvers, producing canoes and poles, masks and other work for both the potlatch system and the curio market. Around 1895, he married Sara Nina in a Kwakwaka'wakw ceremony in Fort Rupert. Sara Nina had four sons from a previous marriage to 'Yax'nukwalas,' (known to Euro-Canadians simply as Martin) including Herbert and Spruce Martin, important participants in the Cranmer potlatch, and Mungo Martin, who James taught how to carve. (Nuytten, The Totem Carvers, pp.13-15.) 1 9. Ibid, p.29. 84 Curtis used the house posts as set props in his 1914 film In the Land of the Headhunters.20 One of the two free-standing poles was also carved by James and belonged to Kingcome Inlet chief, Sisaxo'las (also spelt Sisa-kaulas) (figure 9), although Nuytten reports that i t originally stood in front of a large communal house in Alert Bay.21 The pole relates to the story of Se-wid22 and contains six figures from top to bottom: Qolus, "with her folded wings, ...the sister of Thunderbird. ..[;] " 2 3 Chief Tla-Wunum-Qolus, an z u. Of the three poles used for Curtis' outside set on Deer Island, two are now at the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology. The third may or may not be in Stanley Park. Holm and Quimby suggest that the pole in the Curtis film was a copy of the one now in the park: "Whether i t exists today is not known, but i t was a magnificent one, inspired by the great Raven pole of Wakyas, the f i r s t fully carved t a l l pole at Alert bay, which now stands extensively restored in Vancouver's Stanley Park. The Raven frontal pole at Deer Island was probably made for the film (it doesn't appear in any photographs of Fort Rupert or other villages), and i t seems to be newly carved and painted in Curtis' pictures." The two house posts appear in a number of interior shots in the film as well. Citing the Hunt ledgers given to George Hunt, Holm and Quimby believe they were purchased on June 16, 1913 by George Hunt for Curtis for $90.50 and $75.00 in Fort Rupert. (Holm and Quimby, Edward S. Curtis.) Nuytten reports that Ellen Neel, James' granddaughter and a well-recognized carver in her own right, had said that the owner of the house posts "...lived in Alert Bay and refused to se l l the poles, but offered to rent them out instead...Ellen laughed as she related how 'Old — ' had boasted for years of the fine bargain he had made. He not only got the agreed rental payment, but also a brand new paint job - by Charlie James - paid for by the film maker." (Nuytten, Totem Carvers, p.29. Although Nuytten confesses that he cannot remember the name of the house posts' owner, presumably he is referring to Tsa-wee-nok.) 2 2. The story of Se-wid is repeated in Ibid, p.30. 2 3. S. W. A. Gunn, A Complete Guide to the Totem Poles in Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver: W. E. G. MacDonald, 1965, p.19. Transcribed as Qolos by Goldman, this figure is sometimes described as the brother of Thunderbird. (Goldman, The Mouth of Heaven, p.76.) 85 ancestral figure; K i l l e r Whale; Sea-Otter "...shown eating a sea egg..."24 or sea urchin, 2 5 which Gunn writes "...was the symbol of f e r t i l i t y and...usually represented at nuptial ceremonies[;]" 2 6 Sea Bear; and a human head, "the open mouth representing a r i v a l who had spoken against 'Sisaxo'las' - and who had been 'pushed down' - to the bottom of the pole." 2 7 The second free-standing pole (figure 10) belonged to Wakius (variously spelt Wakyas, Wakiash, or Wakias), was carved by Yurhwayu, and raised as the central front post of a communal house in Alert Bay in 1899 after the potlatch distribution of 350 blankets. It i s reputed to be the f i r s t , f u l l y carved, large pole erected in Alert Bay28 and was also further immortalized in a painting by Emily Carr. The seven figures from top to bottom aare: Thunderbird, K i l l e r Whale, Wolf, an ancestral figure called Nan-wa-kawie (The Wise One),29 Huk-Huk or Hoh-Hox,30 Grizzly Bear, and Raven, which originally had an enormous beak that served as 2 4. Gunn, Totem Poles, p. 19. 2 5. Nuytten, Totem Carvers, p.30. 2 6. Gunn supports this by stating that Ellen Neel presented him with a small carved 'sea egg' as a wedding gi f t . (Gunn, Totem Poles, p.19.) 2 7. Ibid, p.30. 2 8. Ibid, p.15. 2 9. "Great Ancestor of Chief Wakias. In 1893, at a great potlatch...on Turnour Island, Wakias dedicated a miniature model of the mythical Speakers Staff of the Wise Man. Since then the pole has come to be known as Wakias1 Talking Stick, telling the legend of Nan-wa-kawie and his sons outwitting the Great Cannibal." (Ibid, p.16.) 3 0. One of the Kwakwaka'wakw birds of heaven, i t is more recently spelt huxwhukw by B i l l Holm. (Holm, Smoky-Top, p.94.) 86 the entrance way to the Wakius house. The pole had been f i t t e d to the facade of the original house in Alert Bay. Giant wings and a t a i l were also painted on the house front i t s e l f , connecting the pole to the house in an integrated composition that combined both two- and three-dimensional form.31 AHSAV temporarily erected the poles near Lumberman's Arch so "...that visitors and tourists may have the opportunity of inspecting them."32 The poles in their original context, like names, stories, and other crests, related to the hierarchial standing of individuals within the numayms. They were indicative of socio-economic rank as determined by the inheritance of rights to ceremonial prerogatives and negotiated through the potlatch system. This is clearly demonstrated in the inclusion of a potlatch r i v a l in the 'Sisaxo'las' pole. Boas wrote that house frontal poles were chiefly prerogatives that included figural carvings relating to ancestral legends, 3 3 as exemplified by the Nan-wa-kawie figure on the Wakius pole. He further reported that a "...totem pole with various carvings is described only once and this description was called forth by a totem pole standing in front of the house in which the tale was told." 3 4 The poles and house posts purchased for Stanley Park also included crests, like thunderbird, Qolus, and Huk-Huk or huxwhukw, associated with the Winter Ceremonials. Boas states that these particular carvings 3 1. Gunn, Totem Poles, pp.15-17. Franz Boas, Kwakiutl Culture as Reflected in Mythology, New York; American Folk-lore Society, 1935, p.2 3 4. Ibid, p.2. were "... a substitute for carved house dishes. 87 Even moved within the Kwakwaka'wakw communities, from Kingcome Inlet to the cannery town of Alert Bay for example, they were s t i l l associated with a specific kin group through their attachment to the house structure of a ranking individual of a particular numaym (figure 11). As references to lineage histories, they asserted as well the place of origin of these individuals and numayms (perhaps even the relationship between numayms given the possibility of marriage references in the 'Sisaxo'las' pole and the inclusion of crests associated with the Winter Ceremonials which were frequently transferred from father-in-law to son-in-law as part of the marriage ceremonies), creating some sense of order in the movement from peripheral, outlying villages to the centre of a new economic order at Alert The re-location of the poles to Stanley Park thus separated J 3. Ibid, p.3. 3 6. Codere writes that "Fort Rupert maintained i t s central position until about 1900, when i t was superseded by Alert Bay as the centre for the people of Queen Charlotte Strait. Alert Bay had its start in 1870, when two White men established a salmon cannery there and sought Indian labour. In 1877, Rev. A. J. Hall began to work at Fort Rupert but soon moved to Alert Bay. By 1881 he had a school there and a home large enough to accommodate several young girls taught 'domestic duties' by his wife, and by 1888 he had built a sawmill to provide employment and lumber for single-family houses. In 1881 the federal government established a Kwawkewlth Agency at Fort Rupert, but this too moved to Alert Bay. In 1894 the Department of Indian Affairs opened an industrial school for boys at Alert Bay....Meanwhile, Mrs. Hall's program had grown into a residential school for girls....The Kwakiutl were also becoming assimilated into the Canadian economy and dependent on money income. This development led to a period of great prosperity between 1900 and the mid-1920s. Wealth became widespread, primarily because the old organization of production, knowledge of local resources, and industrious habits f i t the new opportunities offered " (Codere, "Kwakiutl," Handbook, p.365.) 8 the objects from specific locational references that related to their role as indicators of rank in kinship groups validated within a specific ceremonial and t e r r i t o r i a l context. Within the European understanding of First Nations objects as something unique or distinctive from the past, the construction of meaning in the poles' even newer location in Stanley Park obscured the historic geographic and lineage meanings that would have been s t i l l apparent to most Kwakwaka'wakw residents at the cannery town. Although touristic in intention, the relocation of the pole was based on the same ideological understanding of Northwest Coast societies as part of the past evident in much of the anthropological writing from the time. In the popularized context of Stanley Park, the ideological distancing in terms of space and time had significant local implications. The conflation of different societies and linguistic groups into one "totem pole culture" exemplified by the crest poles of the "distant Kwakiutl" of the central coast contributed to the erasure of physical reminders of the local Salish, who did not conventionally raise free-standing poles, 3 7 and their claims to Stanley Park and other parts of the city. This temporal and spatial distance, akin to anthropologist Renato Rosaldo's 3 7. The most common form of Central Coast Salish monumental sculpture was the housepost depicting "...mythical creatures associated with family history, notable ancestors, events which displayed ancestors' spirit powers, or magical privileges of the family. They faced into the large winter houses declaiming to occupants and guests alike the long history, wealth, and high status of the family." ' (J.E. Michael Kew, Sculpture and Engraving of the Central Coast Salish Indians, Vancouver: University of • British Columbia Museum of Anthropology Museum Note Number 9, 1980 n.p.) 89 imperialist nostalgia where the colonial "innocent yearning" 3 8 for an unaltered colonized society concealed the colonizer's "...complicity with often brutal domination"39 (like the razing of XwayXway) provided the groundwork for a pacific, a r t i f i c i a l history in which the "Indian" becomes a unique, geographic trope. Less history than geographic symbol, the poles now became the tangible manifestations of an imagined past in Vancouver's unified social memory, a past that legitimized the association and i t s existence and established a powerful colonial metaphor and jus t i f i c a t i o n for the "modernization" of British Columbia. The original intention of the association to place the poles in a village next to a reconstructed HBC post indicates an interest in inserting the First Nations presence within a tableau of Western his t o r i c i t y . The juxtaposition of the crest posts with the classical " c i v i l i z e d " style of Lumberman's Arch and with downtown Vancouver just across the bay accomplished this on i t s own. There were li k e l y a number of reasons for Kwakwaka'wakw decisions to s e l l the poles, depending on the individuals and families involved. It was then easy to suggest, given the government suppression of the potlatch, that these sorts of objects no longer served a purpose within Kwakwaka'wakw society, that their redundancy made them available for sale. However, although pressures related to Canadian colonialism, like Christianization, contributed to the sale of objects, as we have 3 8. Renato Rosaldo, "Imperialist Nostalgia," Representations, 26 (Spring 1989), pp.116. 90 seen throughout the mid-twentieth century potlatching continued, often in a private, rather than public context. 4 0 Therefore, potlatch-related objects retained symbolic currency in certain First Nations circles. It is possible that certain individuals even re-channeled money from the sale of the poles and other objects back into the potlatches, or given some of the financial strains of the 1920s, into more pressing concerns, like boat purchases or, more simply, tying a family through a financially d i f f i c u l t winter. 4 1 Furthermore, as Boas indicates, the recitation of the associated story was only done once and within a controlled context. 4 2 The material manifestation of the prerogative can then be seen as secondary to the inherited right to the prerogative and i t s validation through a potlatch, although such objects were indeed v i t a l to acts of social reproduction, fixing relations of inheritance and hierarchy in material form. Codere reports that the "...Kwakiutl are also alleged to have...gone on paying for or trafficking in the coppers deposited in the , u. Codere writes: "These 'private' potlatches were a relatively late development as a means of continuing potlatching in the face of the law. It is exceptionally interesting that a written record seems to have made 'private' potlatches possible, since one of the functions of publicity in this non-literate society had always been to make important transactions like potlatch distributions a matter of record before many witnesses." (Codere, Fighting With Property, p.88.) 4 1. Codere reports that "...Kwakiutl prosperity suffered a setback in the 1920s with the difficulty of financing power boats (introduced in 1911). Difficulties lasted through the Depression but prosperity was restored by the boom in the fishing industry during World War II." (Codere, "Kwakiutl," p.364.) 4 2. Boas, Kwakiutl Culture, p.2 91 ethnological collections of the museums of North America."43 B i l l Holm, discussing Willie Seaweed's sale of masks to Charles Newcombe and the Provincial Museum in 1914, argues that w [ s ] e l l i n g masks, which represent noble prerogatives, to outsiders might seem to be a strange act for a conservative chief steeped in the traditions of his people. Yet i t seems never to have been really troublesome for the Kwakwaka'wakw. A fine mask was and is prized, especially i f i t is an heirloom, but i t is the right to display i t , derived from ancient tradition, that is jealously guarded. Outsiders w i l l not claim that privilege, and new masks can be made."44 For some individuals the location of objects was not as important as the right to the associated t i t l e s . In addition, there may have been prestige associated with the enshrinement of a family, monument in an urban, non-Kwakwaka'wakw setting, thereby extending the awareness of individual and lineage accomplishments to outside the Kwakwaka'wakw communities. Continuing to celebrate and validate crests within the underground Kwakwaka'wakw potlatches after 1922, some individuals may have then seen the sale of a pole as a chance to simultaneously gain economically and assert the importance of their particular numaym history. This is another example of the contestation and negotiation of meaning surrounding Northwest Coast objects in the twentieth century. AHSAV also demonstrated a certain level of prestige in their 4 3. Codere, Fighting with Property, p.88. 4 4. Holm, Smoky-Top, p.29. 92 re-erection of the poles. The display variation favoured by the association was brought on by the province's vast store of natural resources and i t s increasing regional economic power. There was no need to commission model replicas, as Boas and Swanton had done for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The association instead proposed to buy or simply reconstruct an entire village within the vast park land of Stanley Park. And while Aldona Jonaitis suggests that the target audiences in New York for the hegemonic intentions of the American Museum of Natural History were specifically non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants,45 the Vancouver association sought to construct i t s l i f e - s i z e tableau in a place frequented by Vancouver's entire resident population and visible to anyone entering or leaving the city's main port. The poles of Stanley Park, erected by a sub-association of the municipality, were to become part of Vancouver's physical profile, as millions of visitors to Vancouver can now attest. I I . Negotiations Between AHSAV and the Squamish Band The AHSAV Executive's minutes clearly indicate the 4 5. Boas and Swanton, writes Jonaitis, "...despite their conscious intentions to celebrate Indian art and promote the equality of a l l races, nevertheless ended up contributing to the design of an invented culture and reinforcing a process in which the display of Indian art functions in a larger context of major ideological significance that had less to do with Native Americans than with communicating the power, authority, and dominance of the elite class - largely to immigrant workers." (Aldona Jonaitis, "Franz Boas, John Swanton, and the New Haida Sculpture at the American Museum of Natural History,", The Early Years of Native American Art History: The Politics of Scholarship and Collecting, Ed. Janet Catherine Berlo, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1992, p.23.) 93 importance of obtaining unaltered structures. The original intention was to simply manufacture a facsimile v i l l a g e , 4 6 but this was soon followed by the discussion of a more ambitious plan involving the purchase of the village of Alert Bay in January 1924 (the site only two years earlier of the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions), since at least one of the directors questioned the authenticity; of the poles already purchased and argued the facsimile "village as proposed...would,be of no real value." 4 7 However, this was never realized. "It requires l i t t l e effort of the imagination to satisfy the mind that no single, pure example could now be found standing, and in a f i t condition to be removed and re-erected," 4 8 wrote Reverend John Goodfellow of the association's attempts to remove the entire cannery town to Stanley Park in 1925. The plan to erect a 'totem pole' village using the notorious Kwakwaka'wakw, whose public reputation as symbolic of the whole coast had been bolstered by Boas's studies, the Curtis film, and the Cranmer potlatch, was sunk in 1925 by Squamish people. Andrew Paull, translator for the McKenna-McBride Commission in Salish territories, current secretary of the A l l i e d Indian Tribes of British Columbia and future president of the North American 4 b. Boas' f i e l d assistant, George Hunt, was willing to build the facsimile village for a salary of $150 a month. (AHSAV Directors' Meeting Minutes, March 22, 1923, CAV Add. MSS. 336.) 4 7. AHSAV Annual Meeting Minutes, January 1924,. (CAV Add. MSS. 336) . 4 8. John C. Goodfellow, The Totem Poles in Stanley Park, Vancouver, Vancouver: The Art, Historical and Scientific Association of Vancouver, n.d., p.15. 94 Indian Brotherhood,49 called a meeting with Department of Indian Affairs agent C. C. Perry, and members of the AHSAV Indian village committee.50 After the rise of the pan-Indian p o l i t i c a l organizations, the circumstance now required a non-Native committee to negotiate and accommodate. According to minutes of the meeting, Paull cited Squamish objections, stating that the proposed spot was where Chief Capilano had welcomed Captain Vancouver, so i t therefore was significant to the Squamish people from this historical point, and " . . . i t was here that the Squamish kept their best fighting men, Medicine men and the place where a l l the Tribal Dance masks were made; in fact, i t was far the most important of a l l their village sites." 5 1 As i t was Squamish land, they did not want a Kwakwaka'wakw village. They had no objections to a mixed village or to unattached poles, but they wanted the living Squamish to be recognized. 5 2 It also seems that they leaked news of the meeting to the local media and the AHSAV funding drive dried up. The four poles already purchased were erected and then turned over to the care of the city's Parks Board.53 While the AHSAV members bickered among themselves over the 'authenticity* of their purchases and proposals, the reference to 4 9. Tennant, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics, pp.89, 94, and 120. . AHSAV Directors' Meeting Minutes, October 9, 1925 (CAV Add. MSS. 336). 5 1. Ibid. 5 2. Ibid. 5 3. Ibid. 95 a histor i c a l Squamish presence had more immediate implications. Through the 1920s there was a problem with squatters in Stanley Park, especially on Deadman's Island on the south side of Brockton Point, in Coal Harbour i t s e l f . At the same time, one resident, known popularly as 'Aunt Sally' s t i l l remained at the old XwayXway village site on the opposite side of the point, facing out towards Burrard Narrows. When the Parks Board request for a lease to Deadman's Island was approved in January 1929, the park authorities sought eviction notices to clean the park of i t s 'unwanted' residents. 'Aunt Sally' was the only Stanley Park resident able to establish a legal right to live in the park since she was able to prove she had lived at XwayXway for more than sixteen years. Her property was subsequently purchased on behalf of the Parks Board by philanthropist W.C. Shelley for $15, 500.54 In the end, the village idea was never realized, although Vancouver Parks Board has since bought, commissioned and erected a number of other free-standing poles, moving them a l l south to Brockton Point in 19 6 3 . 5 5 Ironically, given the construction of First Nations societies in the Stanley Park project as something of the past, 'Aunt Sally' legally claimed the right to live near Lumberman's Arch and the newly-erected poles. In addition, the two house posts and one of the free-standing poles were carved by famed Kwakwaka'wakw carver Charlie James who died eleven years after their erection in Stanley Park. AHSAV members, who wanted Steele, Stanley Park, pp.32 and 50-51. Gunn, Totem Poles, p.13. 96 "...to make the model Indian Village as much as possible like the original habitations of the Indians in very early days,"56 had erected poles carved by a living, contemporary carver. The AHSAV project i s another contribution to the creation of a modernist paradox that "...a culture..." can "...appear to have disappeared while i t s members continue to exist...[,]" 5 7 a paradox that by it s conceptual ins t a b i l i t y was destined to implode. Summary The Stanley Park poles have since become major tourist fixtures and are closely identified with the city's identity. The thunderbirds by Charlie James in particular created an evocative image for the park. Of a l l the poles eventually erected in Stanley Park, Nuytten argues that these two ...have come to represent a typical northwest totem pole in the minds of many people. These two poles have been used for decades by advertising agencies, television stations, tourist bureaus and postcard printers. Line drawing versions are found on drinking glasses, spoons, paperweights, keychains and the whole gamut of tourist kitsch. It is almost incredible the way that these particular poles have popped up in tourist bureau hand-outs -children's school books, encyclopedias - European guide books - Indian lore and craft books and so on.58 Behind their touristic reputation, the poles also constituted a site in which the conflicting claims and agendas of . AHSAV Annual Meeting Minutes, January 1924, (CAV Add. MSS. 336) . 5 7. Rosalind C. Morris, New Worlds from Fragments: Film, Ethnography and the Representation of Northwest Coast Cultures, Boulder: Westview Press, 1994, p.55. 58 Nuytten, Totem Carvers, p.30. 97 Native and non-Native groups were negotiated in the 1920s. The Stanley Park project demonstrates the ways in which the poles represented historical visions used to legitimize claims to territory in a city rapidly expanding through non-Native immigration. The conflation of different First Nations groups into an ancient, homogenous "totem pole culture'' symbolized by the material forms of the Kwakwaka'wakw, so recently the subject of federal disciplinary actions, as a means of promoting the industrial progress of the city was brought into question by the Squamish. The Squamish recognized the implications of ASHAV's imaginative display, and forced the organization to accommodate their concerns. What was at stake in these claims was partially illustrated in Shelley's purchase of Aunt Sally's land for the Parks Board: namely, land ownership and financial compensation for i t s loss. 98 CHAPTER 3 Northwest Coast "Art" as National Heritage: Two Federal Projects of the Late 1920s International interest in Northwest Coast objects and the popularity of displays like Stanley Park's cultivated a realization among Euro-Canadians culminating after the Second World War, that the nation indeed possessed a "... resource as important to...Coastal British Columbia as the pyramids are to Egypt or the ruins of ancient Rome to modern Italy." 1 The depletion of a Canadian heritage resource had been a concern to some in the small intellectual community in British Columbia at least since the turn of the century. Douglas Cole quotes archaeologist Charles Hill-Tout, who in 1901 "...counted himself as 'one of those who never cease to regret' at the passing of so many treasures to the United States and f e l t i t 'a serious reflection upon the Province' that anyone wishing to study the region's aborigines 'must go to New York to do i t . ' " 2 By the standards of Hill-Tout and his concerned colleagues in British Columbia, Ottawa's participation in museum collecting in the province must have seemed tardy. The National Museum was not established until 1910. However, after the First World War Ottawa's interest in the Northwest Coast heightened. The removal of the Cranmer potlatch paraphernalia to Ottawa bolstered the National Museum's collection significantly, and the museum's *. Edward L. Keithahn, Monuments in Cedar, Ketchikan, Alaska: Roy Anderson, 1945, p.128. 2. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.228. 99 presence in British Columbia increased dramatically from 1924 to the beginning of the Great Depression in 1929. Two of the most important projects from this period, the in situ preservation of totem poles along the new Canadian National Railway (CNR) line in the Skeena Valley and an exhibition of traditional Northwest Coast objects alongside the modernist paintings of Emily Carr, A.Y. Jackson and a number of other well known American and Canadian contemporary artists, form the content of this chapter. In promoting Northwest Coast objects not only as antiquity, but also as art and heritage, Marius Barbeau played an important role in both National Museum projects. Continuing the construction of Northwest Coast objects as part of the past, these activities also furthered the federal government's interests by promoting tourism in the west. After the Cranmer potlatch and the unsanctioned removal of poles to Stanley Park, the projects reaffirmed as well government control over the objects' location and meaning. A comparison of these projects illustrates the ways in which the National Museum sought to balance i t s roles as sc i e n t i f i c and educational resource and helpmate of the state. In addition to promoting Canadian business interests through touristic representations, the construction of First Nations objects as art lent a sense of prestige to the museum's collection and therefore i t s a c t i v i t i e s . Coombes argues that at this time the use of the term "curio" or "curiousity" hindered "any effective educational use of ethnographic material" 3 and undermined the museum's 3. Coombes, Reinventing Africa, p.113. 100 reputation as a knowledge-producing institution. While both railway and gallery projects supported similar ideological constructions of First Nations objects within an evolutionary narrative and both projects were smaller, linked components of a broader based strategy to encourage industrial development, the West Coast exhibition was instrumental in bolstering the public perception of the National Museum, i t s specialist staff and i t s programmes by philosophically legitimizing the objects contained within the museum's spaces. I. The Totem Pole Preservation Project While there had been some piece-meal collecting done by Canadian museums prior to 1910, with the arrival of three million immigrants in Canada between 1896 and 1914,4 both federal and provincial government resources were concentrated on more formative colonial issues, like expansion of the transportation infrastructure. Yet, increased immigration and industrial activity meant increases in the funding available to the state. By 1909, British Columbia's Provincial Museum was able to hire C. F. Newcombe to reorganize i t s ethnological collection and publish his Guide to the Anthropological Collection of the Provincial Museum. Government revenues more than doubled between 1909 and 4. McLaren, Our Own Master Race, pp.46-47. This growth is exemplified in Vancouver's emerging urbanism. As Ormsby reports, the combination of industrial and agricultural expansion and increased immigration during this period made Vancouver a commercial hub and propelled i t from shanty town to Canada's t h i r d largest city in the forty years following i t s founding in 1886. (Ormsby, British Columbia.) 101 1911.5 In 1911/ the museum provided Newcombe with a $3000 collecting budget.6 Although Newcombe paid specific attention to acquiring monumental poles for Victoria, this local collecting effort was short lived, collapsing along with the provincial economy, in 1913.7 Around the same time, Ottawa's role in assembling museum collections from British Columbia also took a significant turn. In 1910, the Victoria Memorial Museum, which would later become the National Museum of Canada, opened in the nation's capital. One of Boas's doctoral students from Columbia University, Edward Sapir, was hired as the f i r s t chief of the museum's anthropological division. Sapir pursued a strong collecting policy and in moves that would directly contribute to the strengthening of the museum's focus on British Columbia especially after the First World War, hired Harlan Smith, Marius Barbeau and Diamond Jenness. Cole calls Barbeau "...the most aggressive collector" of the three. Born in 1883, Barbeau grew up in rural Quebec and enjoyed a privileged education, studying law at Laval University and then anthropology at Oxford under a Rhodes scholarship. Even while out on National Museum-funded fieldwork, Barbeau collected privately on the side for such competitor institutions as the American Museum of Natural History and the Heye-owned Museum of the American Indian in New York as well as the Royal Ontario 5. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.229. 6. Ibid. 7. Ibid, pp.228-231. 102 Museum.8 He also wrote on the use of First Nations subjects and other nationalistic "folk" motifs as the basis for a modern, patriotic Canadian art, 9 an idea that echoes the concept of a mosaic for the post-assimilationist model for modern Canada popularized by John Gibbon in the 1930s.10 In 1927, the same year as the West Coast exhibition, Barbeau helped organize a festival of French-Canadian folksongs and dances at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. Intensely proud of his accomplishments, Barbeau later wrote: "I say that I had a happy career...because I succeeded in what I thought I should do, and I had the best judgment...because I was a specialist in those subjects." n The emergence of institutions of "culture" at both provincial and federal levels and their shared interest in assembling collections specifically from the Pacific Coast stimulated a competition over Northwest Coast objects as matters of provincial and federal patrimony. In the 1920s, the federal government dominated this informal competition as i t sought to not only consolidate i t s authority in western Canada, but also to assemble a distinctive national identity for both domestic and 8. Ibid, p.267. 9. See: Charles Marius Barbeau, "The Indians of the Prairies and the Rockies: A Theme for Modern Painters," The University of Toronto Quarterly 1:2 (1932), and "Backgrounds in Canadian Art," Proceedings and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Third Series, 35, (1941). 1 0. John Murray Gibbon, Canadian Mosaic: The Making of a Northern Nation, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1938, p . v i i . 1 1. Charles Marius Barbeau, "I was a Pioneer," Oracle 44 (1982), n.p. 103 international consumption. While the First World War interrupted American and Canadian collecting efforts alike, the interest in Northwest Coast objects as examples of Canadian heritage intensified after 1918. In this period, the objects were tied to the growing issues of Canadian p o l i t i c a l and cultural independence. The federal government demanded the international community's acknowledgment of Canadian nationhood by using the 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the creation of the League of Nations to assert a foreign policy independent from Britain's. 1 2 At the same time, national identity was s t i l l in flux during the 1920s, with many unsure how Canada could simultaneously maintain i t s imperial connections and forge i t s own national path. This uncertainty was exemplified in Anglo-Canada's response to First Nations societies and their objects. On one hand, government policy in the 1920s ruthlessly stressed Anglo-conformity, not only for First Nations peoples, but also for the 800,000 non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants13 who had come through Minister of the Interior C l i f f o r d Sifton's 1896 "open door."14 1 2. Bothwell et al, Canada, 1900-1945, pp.229-239. 1 3. McLaren, Our Own Master Race, p.46. 1 4. Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior from 1896 to 1905, announced an "open door" immigration policy that led to the immigration wave ending in 1913. While the federal government sought specifically British agricultural immigrants, their lack of success forced the relaxation of ethnically-based immigration quotas. "Our desire," said Sifton in 1901, "is to promote the immigration of farmers and farm labourers. We have not been disposed to exclude foreigners of any nationality who seemed likely to become successful agriculturalists." (Knowles, Strangers at Our Gates, pp.58-59.) 104 British Columbia Premier Simon Fraser Tolmie announced in 1928 that: "We want British Columbia British and nothing else." 1 5 On the other hand, Northwest Coast objects had already proven to be attractive Canadian symbols; symbols in which American and European museums had expressed an interest and over which o f f i c i a l s of the various levels of Canadian government therefore f e l t obliged to exert control. Rumours of the purchase and export of five Kwakwaka'wakw poles in 1924 seems to have galvanized the resolve of the federal authorities. Further.investigation led to the realization that these poles were to remain in Canada. Two of them had been promised to the Vancouver Parks commissioner and were destined for Stanley Park.16 Rebellious potlatchers and avaricious foreign museums were thus not the only threats to Ottawa's control over objects and their meanings. Charles Stewart, commissioner of the Department of the Interior, in a response to a plea for the poles' preservation from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an international celebrity sympathetic with the reform of government policy towards First Nations and to whom Stewart must have f e l t obliged to write directly, equated the efforts of AHSAV with those of the foreign museums and announced the federal government's novel solution: It i s true that prohibiting their export destroys the Indians' best market and so helps protect the poles, but a number have 1 5. Quoted in Roy, "British Columbia's Fear of Asians," p.162. 1 6. William Halliday to J. D. McLean, December 8, 1921, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10185, Volume 4086, File 507787. 105 lately been sold within Canada and placed in public or private parks where they present a more or less incongruous appearance. We have come to the conclusion that the best method w i l l be to try and re-awaken the interest and pride of the Indians in the remains of their former art and to enlist their cooperation in preserving the poles where they are. 1 7 However, while members of the federal government professed a desire to preserve the poles and reawaken an "interest and pride" in a "former art," their reasons were more " u t i l i t a r i a n and pragmatic." 1 8 In the mid-1920s, efforts had begun in Ottawa to tie reconfigured poles and other objects to "...a wider network of influence that extended across the country through educational, industrial and commercial interests." 1 9 As art historian Ann Morrison argues, in this wide-ranging federal project, "...native a r t i s t i c production wasredeemed' as part of Canadian art history, and ...seen as an available source for decorative design motifs that could be used for the production of manufactured and industrial products, made entirely in Canada."20 While Morrison specifically connects the National Gallery's 1927 Exhibition of West Coast Art - Native and Modern to the use of Northwest Coast objects as a source for commercial designs, this connection is farther reaching. It can be seen to include other 1 7. Charles Stewart to Arthur Conan Doyle, August 29, 1924, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10185, Volume 4086, File 507787. 18 » . Ann Morrison, Canadian Art and Cultural Appropriation: Emily Carr and the Exhibition of West Coast Art - Native and Modern, Vancouver: University of British Columbia Unpublished Master of Arts Thesis, 1991, p.94. 1 9. Ibid, p.95. 20 . Ibid, p.94, 106 federal projects, like the preservation scheme in the Skeena Valley and Harlan Smith's accompanying film, The Tsimshian Indians of the Skeena River of British Columbia, and the printing of a stamp bearing the image of a totem pole in 1925. A l l of these were intended to promote tourism along the CNR line leading through the Skeena Valley to i t s western terminus in Prince Rupert, also the northern-most, major Canadian port and, not coincidentally, a stop on the steamship line from Olympia, Washington to Skagway, Alaska. The preservation project began in the f a l l of 1924 with ethnologist Barbeau sent to survey poles in Kispiox, Hazelton, Hagwelget, Kitsegukla, and Kitwanga by a committee that included Scott in his capacity as Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Charles Camsell, Deputy Minister of Mines, J. B. Harkin, Commissioner of Canadian National Parks, and Barbeau's senior at the museum, Edward Sapir and Barbeau himself. The museum's Harlan I. Smith was sent to the Skeena Valley the following year to supervise the preservation of poles beginning in Kitwanga. A l l the costs were paid for by the Department of Indian Affairs and the Canadian National Railway provided materials and a special engineer, T. B. Campbell21 ("Totem Pole" Campbell as he was later referred to by the Victoria newspaper The British Colonist) . 2 2 Of course, the CNR had a vested interest in the project given that i t s passenger line ran adjacent to the villages and 2 1. Cole, Captured Heritage, pp.271-273. 2 2. The Daily Colonist, July 19, 1929, p.2. 107 poles in question. The Skeena line and i t s Pacific terminus, Prince Rupert, were originally built in 1913 by the British-owned Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. It went into receivership at the end of the First World War and was taken over by the federal government in the autumn of 1919.23 The federal government's a b i l i t y to shape the patterns of tourism and development was an important motivation for the program. Kitwanga had been called by the Montreal Gazette "...the showplace of northern British Columbia and, next to Niagara Falls, the most photographed spot in Canada."24 Cole quotes Smith's assertions that "steps should be taken to save in situ or guard until that can be done totem poles at Kitwanga, the best on the C.N. line route or they w i l l go as did those at Alert Bay, the best on the steamship lines." 2 5 Smith's comments illustr a t e the poles' place in the competition for tourist attention between Ottawa and local municipalities, like Vancouver, and suggest that the poles had an important place in the central government's plans for the over-all development of the province, details of which were not shared with local 2 3. When the Grand Trunk Pacific f i r s t drew up plans for Prince Rupert and the Skeena r a i l line, they claimed Prince Rupert as the best natural harbour on the entire Pacific Coast. It was two days closer to the Orient than either Vancouver or San Francisco and thus gave the railway claim to the shortest round-the-world route between it s train and steamship lines. Promotional material recounted glowing reports of the possibilities of fishing and logging industries along the coast and farming in the interior. Landscape architects Brett and Hall of Boston were hired to make Prince Rupert the most beautiful city in North America. (Phylis Bowman, Whistling Through the Wind, Prince Rupert: P. Bowman, 1980.} 2 4. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.272. Harlan Smith, quoted in Ibid, p.271. 108 government. The federal government was under considerable pressure to turn the now publicly-owned company into a profitable enterprise. Tourism was one component of their plan to do so. 2 6 The federal government saw the poles as an important attraction in the use of tourism and the development of the transportation infrastructure that connected northern British Columbia overland to Edmonton and the east and along the coast to Vancouver and the mainland United States in the south. Purchases of poles, such as AHSAV1s from Alert Bay for Stanley Park and the f i r s t sale of a Gitxsan pole in 1923 (to New York's American Museum of Natural History), 2 7 directly threatened the financial v i a b i l i t y of the plan by relocating the attractions away from the steamship and train lines and thus funneling tourists away from the new regional development in the northwest. It was also important in this development scheme to secure government authority over land distribution and the ut i l i z a t i o n of natural resources. The potlatch ban served this objective in i t s attempt to erase indigenous modes of authority and resource control. The reconfiguration of the poles as touristic reminders of a "primitive" past contributed as well through increasing the commodity status of ceremonial objects. As touristic signposts, the poles were removed from f u l f i l l i n g a function in contemporary l i f e as t e r r i t o r i a l markers or as indicators of relevant leadership status. In this sense then, the federal display 2 6. Bothwell et al, Canada 1900-1945, p.179. 2 7. Cole, Captured Heritage,, p.272. 10 projects of the 1920s furthered the intentions of the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions and Halliday's post-trial exhibit. The re-location of the poles to obscure or soften the image of industrialization in British Columbia for tourists emerged as an important government strategy in this earlier period. The pr i o r i t y given projects securing monumental attractions namely the poles, for tourist consumption rather than projects that might encourage the production of objects as a source of local employment indicates how much Scott and the others in Ottawa saw or wanted to construct Northwest Coast objects as something of the past and not the present and of leisure rather than commerce. Nonetheless, Smith suggested activities aimed at promoting the contemporary production and marketing of local indigenous "art" during his fieldwork in Kitwanga as early as 1925. He proposed the formation of a national 'totem pole' park in the Skeena Valley called the 'Indian National Park of Temlaham,' coinciding with the 1928 publication of The Downfall of Temlaham,28 Barbeau's fictionalized account of the so-called 1888 'Skeena River Uprising.' Along with the establishment of the national park, Smith advocated the development of souvenirs as tourist attractions. His suggestions included the sale of miniatures, jewelry, and other curio items, but his passion was his own plaster cast replicas of pole parts. "Anyone wishing to put himself through school or university," he wrote to Scott, 2 8. C. Marius Barbeau, The Downfall of Temlaham, Toronto: Macmillan, 1928. See also, Maureen Cassidy, "The Skeena River Uprising of 1888," British Columbia Historical News, 16:3 (Spring 1983). 110 "with $5.00 worth of tools and $10.00 worth of plaster could turn out one of these plaques per day before breakfast for several weeks."29 And while one of Smith's plaster casts made i t s way into Scott's departmental art collection, 3 0 the promotion of a contemporary arts industry was discussed only b r i e f l y and never in detail. Smith asked Scott, "Should I vigorously encourage manufacture and sale as souvenirs of baskets, blankets, paddles, etc. and a l l such a r t i s t i c things as they may make in the future?" 3 1 Scott was uninterested in directing departmental resources to this kind of activity, although Smith's suggestions later influenced promotional activists like Alice Ravenhill and George Raley in the 1930s and 1940s, as discussed in chapters 4 and 5. As for the preservation of the poles themselves, "[t]he i n i t i a l step was to gain the goodwill and consent of the Indian owners of the poles," wrote Smith in a 1926 project summary published in the National Museum's Annual Report, "This was not easy, for they were unfavourably disposed toward white men in general, and particularly toward Government o f f i c i a l s . " 3 2 And while Smith failed to mention specific legislation that might 2 9. Harlan I. Smith to Duncan Campbell Scott, November 11, 1925, from Indian Affairs, Black Series, RG #10, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 3 0. Collins to Scott, March 19, 1932. 3 1. Edward Sapir, quoting Harlan I. Smith, to Duncan Campbell Scott, June 15, 1925, from Indian Affairs, Black Series, RG #10, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 3 2. Harlan I. Smith, "Restoration of Totem Poles in British Columbia," National Museum of Canada Annual Report for 1926, Ottawa: King's Printer, 1928. I l l have displeased the Gitxsan owners, he nonetheless l i s t e d a series of grievances some of which, he suggested, were "no doubt real, some imaginary."33 The white men had settled on their land and were pushing the Indians more and more to the wall; they had buil t canneries on the coast that were destroying a l l the fish; they were cutting a l l the best timber in the country so that within a few years none would remain for the Indian; they sold whisky in Government liquor stores and put the Indians in j a i l when they drank i t . A few years ago, they had prohibited the erection of totem-poles; why did they wish now to preserve them?34 As Smith admitted himself, this was a d i f f i c u l t position to explain. "Much tact and patience were necessary to answer these and other objections the Indians raised to any interference with their poles, but in the end most of the d i f f i c u l t i e s were happily overcome. " 3 5 With permission from the pole owners, Smith hired labourers, found gravel and hauled i t to the sites, cut wood poles to reinforce damaged crest poles, obtained permission to relocate some of the poles next to the r a i l lines, and trimmed the tops of trees that may have obscured the view from passing trains (figures 12 through 14). He also made plans for the erection of "show signs so tourists may have chance to see poles at each place where in sight of trains" 3 6 and labeled the restored 3 3 3 4 3 5 3 6 Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Harlan I. Smith f i e l d report, Kitwanga, July 22, 1925, p.4, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence, Box 429, File 83. 112 poles. 3 7 The f i e l d seasons of 1925 and 1926 saw the restoration of sixteen poles in the villages of Kispiox and Kitwanga, but Smith's optimism about the situation was short lived. Two incidents in 1926 contributed to the increasing d i f f i c u l t y of Smith's work and made legislation that in theory echoed the project's preservationist intentions and in practice ensured Ottawa's control appear a l l the more urgent. The f i r s t incident occurred in April 1926, when Wallis A. Olen of Clintonville, Wisconsin contacted f i r s t Harlan Smith and then Diamond Jenness, Edward Sapir's replacement as chief of the Anthropology Division at the National Museum, about purchasing a crest pole. Jenness then contacted Scott about the legality of shipping poles outside of Canada without government authorization. Scott replied that "...unfortunately there is no legal authority preventing the shipping of these totem poles outside of Canada but I do not think i t is advisable for Mr. Olen to be made aware of th i s . " 3 9 In the second incident, Chief Seamadaks (variously spelt Semideck or Semidec, and also featured in Smith's film, see figure 15) of'Kitwanga, the village in which Harlan Smith was 3 7. Harlan I. Smith fi e l d reports, Hazelton, June 15, 1925, pp.1-3 and Kitwanga, July 22, 1925, pp.1-5, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence, Box 429, File 83. 3 8. Diamond Jenness to Duncan Campbell Scott, April 8 and 10, 1926; Duncan Campbell Scott to Diamond Jenness, April 9, 1926, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence, Box 432, File 34. 3 9. Duncan Campbell Scott to Diamond Jenness, April 9, 1926, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence, Box 432, File 34. 113 working, sought to s e l l a pole for $330 and ten masks for an additional $70 to cover medical expenses. The North West Biscuit Company of Edmonton was the potential buyer and Scott's own direct correspondence to Seamadaks had l i t t l e effect in dissuading him.40 Jenness and Scott had drafted legislation by the end of the same month that extended government jurisdiction over the poles, making i t i l l e g a l to tamper in any way with any "Indian grave-house, carved grave-pole, totem-pole, carved house-post or large rock embellished with paintings or carvings" 4 1 without government permission. In the various re-writes, Scott and Jenness worded the legislation specifically to include control of First Nations individuals under the amendment.42 This gave the Department of Indian Affairs veto power over the sale of any pole on reserve land and thus, in tandem with the government's a b i l i t y to declare sites and objects part of Canada's national heritage, the power to control the destination of a l l poles. Once again the authority of the Department of Indian Affairs under Scott's direction asserted i t s e l f and disempowered First Nations peoples. Cole remarks: Where enforceable, this prevented private 4 0. Chief Seamadaks to Harlan I. Smith, October 7, 1926; Harlan I. Smith to Duncan Campbell Scott, November 10, 1926 and July 21, 1926; Duncan Campbell Scott to Chief Seamadaks, November 15, 1926; and Duncan Campbell Scott to North West Biscuit Company, July 22, 1926, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 4 1. Diamond Jenness to Duncan Campbell Scott, April 28, 1926; Duncan Campbell Scott to Diamond Jenness, April 26, 1926 and May 5, 1926, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Sapir Correspondence, Box 432, File 34. 114 sales, but did not seriously impede sales to public institutions. Nor did i t affect exports. Indian Affairs policy - and National Museum advice - was that poles should be preserved in situ where they were potential tourist attractions, but where they stood far of the travel routes, as at Cape Mudge or in the Nass valley, they should be in museums. If Canadian museums could not afford them -and in the 1930s few could - they should be allowed to be sold abroad.43 In both Seamadaks and Olen cases, the government halted i n i t i a l sales. The Seamadaks pole would come back to haunt Scott, however, and is perhaps indicative of how Smith and the other workers associated with the Totem Pole Preservation Committee failed to gain the trust and cooperation they claimed in their correspondence. Seamadaks f i r s t refused to grant permission to touch his two poles in Kitwanga, the one village where Smith had had any semblance of success in the project. Furthermore, despite an ownership dispute internal to Kitwanga and rooted in the intricacies of the Gitxsan potlatch system, Seamadaks went ahead and sold the pole to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1929 for $300.44 To add insult to injury, the removal of the pole was done under the supervision of the CNR engineer, T. B. Campbell, without the permission of the Department of Indian A f f a i r s . 4 5 Scott was forced to grant permission for the 4 3. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.278. 4 4. Report of Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable T.E.E. Greenfield, Kitwanga, October 10, 1928, and November 29, 1928 (statement of Ada Fowler), from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 4 5. Edgar Hyde to Duncan Campbell Scott January 31, 1929, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 115 pole's sale after the fact because of his own employee's failure to notify the department. Scott and the committee were further caught in that i f they had themselves bought the pole and preserved i t on site, they would have been forced to pay not only for any new poles they wished to conserve, but also for the ones they had already finished. 4 6 The amendment to control pole sales coincided with a second amendment to the Indian Act in 1927 aimed at blocking First Nations a b i l i t i e s to further claims to land within the judicial system. First Nations individuals and groups now had to gain written permission from the Department of Indian Affairs before hiring a s o l i c i t o r . This effectively resulted in a ban on land claims activities and was in direct response to petitions made by the pan-Indian p o l i t i c a l organization the A l l i e d Tribes of British Columbia under the leadership of Andrew Paull and Peter Kelly and the legal direction of Arthur E. O'Meara, an Ontario lawyer and Anglican minister associated with the primarily Euro-Canadian group, Friends of the Indians. The A l l i e d Tribes were themselves responding to the reneging on the First Nations right to consent to or deny reserve cut-offs in the provincial-federal McKenna-McBride Agreement.47 Together, these amendments, along with the Cranmer potlatch prosecutions, represent a multi-pronged federal attack on indigenous leadership structures and an attempt at consolidating federal authority throughout the 1920s. One of 4 6. Duncan Campbell Scott to Edgar Hyde, January 9, 1929, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 4 7. Tennant, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics, p.157. 116 the results of this was a heightened tension between Native and non-Native groups. When Smith and the crew moved on to Kitsegukla in 1927, they were handed a protest petition signed by fifteen Kitsegukla chiefs and forbidden to touch any of the poles. The blame for this came back to Tom Campbell of Hazelton (who, when later arrested for potlatching in 1931, was described by Agent Mortimer as the "I.W.W. type"). Campbell, whose portrait was painted by Langdon Kihn (figure 16) and included in the 1927 exhibition, 4 8 refused to let Smith touch two of his poles, claiming they had been cut down by provincial road crews and that he had not yet received compensation. The blame for this was l a i d by the local Indian Agent, Edgar Hyde, on "'...propaganda spread by Tom Campbell,' who alleged that the government intended to move villages and give the old ones to the railway 'and other such nonsense.'"49 In one letter, Hyde wrote that "Tom Campbell is one of the worst agitators in the Agency known as such to both Indians and Whites alike, he is very bitter towards the White people and any kind of government and gives vent to his feelings W. Langdon Kihn, an American, had twelve canvases, mostly portraits, included in the National Gallery's 1927 Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art Native and Modern.; Kihn had gone to the Skeena in 1924 with Barbeau and stayed in Kitwancool for nine months. Morrison suggests that the original impetus for the exhibition was Barbeau's idea to exhibit Kihn's paintings alongside Northwest Coast objects, an idea that was then expanded to include Canadian painters by Eric Brown and the gallery's board of trustees. (Morrison, Canadian Art and Cultural Appropriation, pp.12-28.) 4 9. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.275. 117 when opportunity affords." 5 0 Smith also singled Campbell out as a troublemaker, citing other reasons for the opposition: "too much home brew, the unsettled land question, broken promises by an earlier photographer, white jealousy at not being hired for the work, a missionary's opposition to preservation, and the Indians' fear that the government would own the poles i f i t spent money preserving them."51 When the people in Kitsegukla heard of Seamadaks successful sale, a l l the poles in Kitsegukla went up for sale. 5 2 Ironically, the collecting activities of committee member Barbeau undermined the a b i l i t y of the committee to realize i t s objectives. In 1927, Barbeau was also collecting for the Royal Ontario Museum. He bought nearly $1000 worth of objects more than the museum had budgeted as he was certain he could s e l l the surplus at a profit to Heye and the Museum of the American Indian in New York.53 As Cole writes, Barbeau's career "...was now launched as a collector in 'a purely personal' as well as o f f i c i a l capacity." 5 4 When Barbeau offered $600 for a pole in the Nass River and was turned down, he began negotiating an offer Edgar Hyde to Duncan Campbell Scott, June 25, 1927, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 5 1. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.275. 5 2. Edgar Hyde to Duncan Campbell Scott, January 31, 1929, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 5 3. Cole, Captured Heritage, pp.268-269. . Ibid, p.269. 118 for $1000.55 The price of each pole in Kitsegukla then went to $1000, a price deemed unacceptable by the federal Totem Pole Preservation Committee especially after they had managed to preserve poles in Kitwanga and Kispiox without any payment at a l l . 5 6 Smith then moved down to Kitselas Canyon, a village not included in Barbeau's i n i t i a l 1924 report. Barbeau was further opposed to the restoration of the poles at Kitselas, even though Smith noted that a l l fifteen poles could be seen from the r a i l line. Cole reports that Barbeau then sought to undermine Smith's work, perhaps in order to secure his own a b i l i t y to deal independently in poles away from the villages in the 1924 survey, since Barbeau was actively acting as an agent in the sale of totem poles outside his capacity with the National Museum.57 As with the Kwakwaka'wakw, Gitxsan reasons for participation in the preservation programme or for selling their poles and other objects varied. Increasing financial d i f f i c u l t y , for example, contributed to certain sales. Barbeau was successful in freelance collecting in 1927 partly because of the "failure of the 1927 fishery." 5 8 The sale of older poles may have been one strategy as well of funding a cycle of potlatches for a the next 5 5. Marius Barbeau to Duncan Campbell Scott, May 1, 1930, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 5 6. G. C. Mortimer to Duncan Campbell Scott, December 3, 1930, from Indian Affairs Black Series, Reel # C-10186, Volume 4086, File 507787-2. 5 7. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.276. 5 8. Ibid, p.269. 119 generation of Gitxsan leaders. The non-Native perspective for the preservation can be glimpsed in Smith's film (figure 17), The Tsimshian Indians of the Skeena River of British Columbia, made during the preservation f i e l d work as one of Smith's responsibilities with the museum and discussed in detail by Rosalind Morris. 5 9 The opening t i t l e reads "The Canadian National Railway speeds through the mountain walled valleys of British Columbia toward the land of the Tsimshian, where totem poles and costumed Indians recall the glories of a vanished past." 6 0 Morris, although apparently unaware of the film's relationship to Smith's work for the preservation committee, argues that the motif of travel in the film was a device intended to emphasize the distance of the Tsimshian from the film's non-Native audience. Travel in the film operated both spatially and temporally, 6 1 a process physically replicated in train travel. Through the results of Smith's preservation efforts, traveling through the valley and along the preserved poles was akin to traveling back in time. What the project offered in terms of attracting visitors to the region, then, was a "trope of travel...at one with those accounts of exploration and discovery that so entertained the previous generation." 6 2 Morris's paradox of simultaneity, "the contradiction...of cultural disappearance and physical 5 9. Morris, New Worlds from Fragments, pp.66-77. Ibid, p.69. Ibid, p.69. 120 survival," 6 3 that disrupted the narrative of social evolution was mediated by the idea that the past could function within a modernist framework: as heritage resource or a commodity. It was for this reason that Scott and the rest of the committee in Ottawa could brook no challenges from Vancouver, Edmonton, or the American museums. The "inauthentic" erection of these "heritage" monuments outside their place of origin would undermine the ab i l i t y to control the location and meaning of the objects and their usefulness in constructing a particular vision of "modern" Canada and as a resource for the railway and other tourism industries. Only two more poles were preserved following the disastrous 1927 f i e l d season because owners were demanding $1000 for every pole on the reserve before consenting to preservation work.64 Cole suggests, I think shortsightedly, that the Gitxsan perspective relates primarily to the sharing of any economic benefit received by the railway. Even in 1927, this would only be a small benefit in comparison to the over-all value of the poles, with their connections to the ownership of inherited territories and resources - especially considering the scope of Euro-Canadian plans for the region between 1904 and the end of the 1920s. At this point, Gitxsan resistance differed from both Squamish and Kwakwaka'wakw examples discussed in previous chapters. With the Cranmer potlatch, land rights were not so 6 3. Ibid, p.55. 6 4. Cole, Captured Heritage, p.276-277. 121 e x p l i c i t l y at stake as with the Stanley Park and Skeena Valley projects. The suggestion made by government o f f i c i a l s that their intention was to preserve the Gitxsan poles for future generations obscured their primary concern for the valley's industrial development through the use of the poles as tourist attractions. Furthermore, the erection of Kwakwaka'wakw poles on land claimed by the Squamish was a kind of intrusion. On the other hand, much of the Gitxsan resistance can be related to the vibrant social significance the poles s t i l l served within the Gitxsan communities i n conjunction with attempts by federal authorities to control Gitxsan p o l i t i c a l and social l i f e (and that of the coastal peoples in general) through the potlatch ban, the prohibition of land claims activities, and the prohibition of pole sales. While the demand for such substantial amounts for the poles may have been a symptom, the root problem was the duplicity of Euro-Canadian o f f i c i a l s . The most common complaint from the Gitxsan villages was that i f the government spent money on the poles, the Gitxsan themselves would no longer own them. State o f f i c i a l s argued that they were simply keeping the owners' memories alive and yet repeatedly blocked sales they did not approve of. One might ask what the point of ownership i s i f the owner has lost the right of disposal, either through sale or transport. What did 'ownership' mean, i f anything, under this kind of definition? I I I . The National Gallery and the E x h i b i t i o n of Canadian West Coast a r t - Native and Modern The mediation of Morris's paradox of simultaneity was also 122 fashioned in the realm of "fine art." The success of Canada's modernist contributions to the Colonial art exhibitions in London in the early 1920s led to French requests for a representative exhibition in Paris in March 1927. The French requests resulted in a show in part organized by Eric Brown, director of the National Gallery and held at the Musee du Jeu de Paume. It included modernist paintings by Brown's favoured Group of Seven as well as others like Homer Watson, Maurice Cullen, Clarence Gagnon, Jock MacDonald, and James Morrice. The landscape content was of course inescapable and was supplemented by a selection of Northwest Coast sculpture 6 5 and fabrics, contributed by National Museum director Collins on the suggestion of Duncan Campbell Scott, 6 6 again using his position in Indian Affairs to further his passion for the arts. A c r i t i c with Figaro Artistique noted that the Northwest Coast objects were "...really unusual and handled with undeniable s k i l l . They w i l l interest the curious...."67 Furthermore, the exhibition's inclusion of Northwest Coast objects was in line with the government's policy of using the indigenous products of British Columbia to advertise the country. 6 5. The National Museum's annual report of 1926-27 states that "nine of the best examples of British Columbia native carvings were lent to the National Gallery for exhibition at Paris, France, with the Wembley collection of Canadian paintings." 6 6. Diamond Jenness to Duncan Campbell Scott, March 25, 1927, from Canadian Museum of Civilization, Jenness Correspondence, Box 432, File 34. 6 7. Translated and quoted in Annual Report of the Board of Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1927-28, Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1928, p.14. 123 That Primitivism would play an important role in the self-definition of a new, essentially European, industrialized state exemplifies Daniel Miller's assertion that "[s]ince meaning is often defined through oppositions, dominant groups may often be found not only to construct material representations of their own interests, but also to project models of those which they define themselves in opposition to." 6 8 And while this as an a r t i s t i c strategy is most closely associated with Paris around the time of the First World War, the specific use of Northwest Coast material in conjunction with the modernist treatment of the Canadian landscape distinguishes the project as distinctively Canadian. Modernism, especially with references to primivistic oppositions, signifies membership in an international capitalist industrial modernity. The premodern operates as the negative defining the positive space, as a geographic trope, and as the foundation on and over which the industrial state is built. To employ such a strategy in the cultural heart of France, claimed by the state as one of Canada's own founding societies, i s also a coming-of-age statement. That Canada was asserting i t s e l f internationally as culturally distinct coincides with an important shift in i t s relationship with Britain and the British Empire.69 The domestic version of the Paris exhibit opened at the National Gallery in December 1927. In retrospect, i t should have been an auspicious opening since i t was the f i r s t time the 6 8. Daniel Miller, "Primitive Art and the Necessity of Primitivism to Art," The Myth of Primitivism: Perspectives on Art, Ed. Susan Hiller, London and New York: Routledge, 1991, p.58. 6 9. Bothwell et al, Canada, 1900-1945, pp.229-244. 124 National Gallery of Canada had put Canadian First Nations "art" on display, let alone include a livi n g First Nations painter with a selection of Canada's best known and most c r i t i c a l l y accepted modern artis t s . The Canadian West Coast Exhibition Native and Modern70 under the cooperative direction of the Gallery's Eric Brown and National Museum ethnologist Barbeau collected together anonymous Northwest Coast ceremonial objects from the museum's shelves, objects borrowed from other Canadian institutions (especially the Royal Ontario Museum), works by the recently deceased Haida carver Charles Edenshaw and livi n g Coast Tsimshian painter Frederick Alexie (a protege of Barbeau), and paintings by members of the Group of Seven, Langdon Kihn, Peggy Nichol and Emily Carr for a teleological statement about the development of Canadian art. Much of the exhibition's intention centred on creating a visual mosaic through combining ethnic streams into a contemporary expression, giving new painters an a r t i f i c i a l historical pedigree for referencing; one that also said something about the s p i r i t of the country. It was not as much about a Northwest Coast "art" as i t was about the u t i l i t y of First Nations objects and the landscape to the construction of a new, unique and wholly Canadian a r t i s t i c style. Then again, perhaps i t was sadly appropriate to the marginalized position of First Nations peoples that the opening 7 0 . This exhibition is also discussed in Diana Nemiroff, "Modernism, Nationalism and Beyond: A C r i t i c a l History of Exhibitions of First Nations Art," Land, Spirit, Power: First Nations Art at the National Gallery of Canada, Eds. Diana Nemiroff, Robert Houle, and Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1992, pp.15-41. 125 was poorly advertised and even more poorly attended, despite the National Museum's 1927-28 Annual Report and i t s suggestion that the exhibit "proved so successful that i t was shown later in Toronto and in Montreal." 7 1 "It was horrid," wrote Carr in her diary at the time, "No invitations were sent out except to a few artists and those in the building. Others were angry at getting no cards or notices except the eleventh hour general invitation that came too late to be taken." 7 2 Carr c r i t i c i z e d the general lack of recognition for her nationalistic paintings that she f e l t the poor organization and sparse attendance suggested. "Dominated by dead England and English traditions," she lamented, "they are decorating their tombstones while livi n g things clamour to be fed." 7 3 And this she took personally, since she had woven her own sense of a r t i s t i c self so tightly with the leaning, picturesque crest poles, tumbled old villages and forests of the coast. "[T]hey a l l say I have more of the s p i r i t of the Indian than the others....I loved the country and the people more than the others who have painted her. It was my own country, part of the West and me."74 The inclusion of named First Nations artists like Alexie and Edenshaw, apparently not noticed by Carr in the throes of her own anxieties, has since become an obscure, albeit 7 1. National Museum of Canada, Annual Report 1927-28, p. 7 2. Emily Carr, Hundreds and Thousands; The Journals of Emily Carr, Toronto and Vancouver: Clarke, Irwin and Company, 1966, pp.11-12. 7 3. Ibid, p.12. 7 4. Ibid, pp. 9-12. 126 te l l i n g , footnote in the history of Canadian art. Carr showed no recognition, empathy, or identification with the Northwest Coast artists exhibited with her, one of whom was s t i l l alive, and yet claimed to "understand" the peoples better than anyone else. The a r t i s t i c avant-garde use of the local "premodern" was just as appropriative as the state-directed constructions of nationalist identity in projects like the Skeena preservation programme. In 1927, Canada's Diamond Jubilee seemed entirely the right time to i n s t a l l an exhibition in Ottawa with such h i s t o r i c i s t references and with such a bold inclusive statement about Canadian a r t i s t i c identity. It now also seems a c h i l l i n g l y ironic choice for such an exhibit given the then recent adoptions of sections 140 and 141 of the Indian Act and the suppression of both potlatching and land claims. Brown, Barbeau, painters like A. Y. Jackson and Edwin Holgate, Canada's "worthwhiles," in Carr's words, "people who really count and are shaping a nation [,]...all so big and broad,...so proud of the bigness of their country, so anxious to probe i t s soul and understand i t , " 7 5 sought a vehicle for expression in Northwest Coast subject matter and in doing so carved out an a r t i s t i c metaphor for First Nations people that mirrored the federal government's assimilationist policies. "Enough...remains of the old arts," wrote Brown in the catalogue preface, "to provide an invaluable mine of decorative design which is available to the student for a host of different purposes and possessing for the Canadian artist in particular the unique quality of being entirely national in i t s origin and 7 5. Ibid. 127 character." 7 6 The catalogue illustrates the mechanics of the exhibition's construction. Following Brown's preface, Barbeau sketches a brief introduction establishing the international stature of "West Coast Indian Art," then comments on basic concepts of content and function. The catalogue i t s e l f is then divided into two basic sections, seemingly along a loose chronological arrangement with the f i r s t providing part explanations of object categories, and the second l i s t i n g , without explanation, the Euro-Canadian paintings of the Group of Seven and the others. The difference between the two parts is characteristic of the difference between art and anthropological exhibits, with anthropological displays designed to educate and art exhibits assuming prior knowledge appropriate to the connoisseur class. What makes this catalogue special is the juxtaposition of the two modes in a single work. The installation i t s e l f was more integrated, with paintings side by side with ceremonial objects thus implying both s t y l i s t i c a f f i n i t i e s and a hierarchy. The indigenous objects, although prominent, were arranged in display cases and in museum-like groupings that reinforced the sense of the Euro-Canadian depictions as something of the present and the "artifacts" as of the past. In this way, the exhibition's curatorial strategy privileged the modernist paintings. A f f i n i t i e s on the one hand contributed to the inspiration of 7 6. Eric Brown, in National Gallery of Canada, Exhibition of Canadian West Coast Art - Native and Modern, Toronto: Art Gallery of Toronto, 1928, p.3. 128 modernist painters and on the other legitimized the Northwest Coast objects as "art." The exhibition can then be viewed within the context of early attempts at explaining and institutionalizing "primitive art" and draws immediate comparison with Franz Boas' Primitive Art, 7 7 published the same year. Like Boas, Barbeau chose to emphasize the aesthetic refinement of the northern coastal groups, whose "...artists have l e f t works of art that count among the outstanding creations of mankind in the sphere of plastic or decorative beauty."78 However, Boas constructed the objects as "art" in order to prove the "equality" or " c i v i l i z a t i o n " of the people who produced i t , and thus his text operated on a metonymic level with objects standing for the originating nations. Boas does not seem to have been concerned with using the Native "premodern" to construct American nationalism. Brown and Barbeau and the way in which they u t i l i z e the objects of the Northwest Coast as a source of inspiration for modernist painters echoed the modernist "discovery" of African and other non-Western arts in Europe just' prior to the First World War. Marianna Torgovnick describes the process and i t s implications: A group without an 'art' and 'aesthetics' can be thought to lack 'culture' and 'poli t i c a l integrity;' i t can then be 'discovered' and 'developed' by 'superior' groups, that is those with both 'art' and 'culture.' Any challenge to the designation of 'art' for African, Oceanic, and Native American pieces thus f l i r t s 7 7. Franz Boas, Primitive Art, New York; Dover Publications, 1955. 7 8. Barbeau, in National Gallery, West Coast Catalogue, p.80. 129 dangerously with modes of thought that made the appropriation of land from primitive peoples possible. 1 9 Despite the shared strategies of equating beauty with art, an evolutionary hierarchy was more important to the structure of the West Coast catalogue entries than to Boas's Primitive Art. Within the object categories, a subtext of differing creative sophistication ranks both the objects and their producers. Haida model poles with "...[t]heir refined stylization coupled with a touch of feeling and realism, and the clever grouping of figures along the slender shafts, disclose the outstanding characteristics of Haida art at i t s best." 8 0 Tsimshian and Haida masks "[a]s both varieties belong to the northern nations...are often from the hands of the best carvers." 8 1 From the north to the south, the hierarchy steps lead downward. Thus, "the southern tribes, on the other hand (the Kwakiutl and the Nootka) could not boast of like refinement," 8 2 their style, " . . . i s either a degenerate form of the northern art or, else, i t represents an early stage, beyond which the southern West Coast tribes did not advance. " 8 3 Towards the end of the f i r s t catalogue l i s t i n g , Edenshaw 7 9. Marianna Torgovnick, Gone Primitive: Savage Intellects, Modern Lives, Chicago and London: University of Chicago, 1990, p.83. 8 0. National Gallery, West Coast Catalogue, p.7. 8 1. Ibid, p.4. 8 2. Ibid, p.4. 8 3. Ibid, p.9. 130 appears within an introduction to Haida a r g i l l i t e carvings, which according to the text, emerge after 1850, "...when the white strangers showed their interest in native souvenirs." 8 4 The best of the a r g i l l i t e poles are attributed to Edenshaw and his "faithful Tlingit slave" who "spent much of their lives in friendly rivalry, carving figures of a l l kinds...." 8 5 Charles Edenshaw, a Haida carver (circa 1839-1920), lived and worked at Massett, Skidegate, Port Simpson and Kasaan.86 He was commissioned by Boas and the American Museum of Natural History through John Swanton to prepare a series of model poles and houses which, as Jonaitis argues convincingly, became the s t y l i s t i c paradigm for "classic" Haida art. 8 7 Furthermore, Boas makes a number of references to Edenshaw in Primitive Art, either through i l l u s t r a t i n g Edenshaw's work or through discussing Edenshaw's explanations of specific images.88 The recognition of Edenshaw, while cursory at best in the catalogue, was essential given this kind of international attention. The last four entries of the f i r s t section cover the gradual bleeding from one group to another. Bracelets, made from 8 4. Ibid, p.11. 8 5. Ibid, p.11. The description of a competition between Edenshaw and his "faithful Tlingit slave" does not appear anywhere else in the literature, including, most importantly, Margaret B. Blackman, During My Time: Florence Edenshaw Davidson, a Haida Woman, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1982. 8 6. Holm, "Will the Real Charles Edenshaw Please Stand Up?" p.177. 8 7. Jonaitis, "Franz Boas, John Swanton, and the New Haida Sculpture," pp.22-61. 8 8. Boas, Primitive Art, pp. 158, 193, 201, 212, and 275. 131 hammered "Mexican"89 dollar coins, are singled out as an innovation of the nineteenth century. They are followed by the two paintings by Alexie (one of which had been purchased by A. Y. Jackson and then loaned to the exhibit), identified by Barbeau as "...an old Tsimsyan half-breed [sic] of Port Simpson."90 Frederick Alexie (figure 18) was born in Port Simpson in 1853.91 Alexie's father was part of a small group of Iroquois brought to the Pacific coast in the 1830s by the Hudson's Bay Company. His mother was a Coast Tsimshian, thus Alexie belonged to the gispawadwada clan of the Giludzar Tsimshian. According to Barbeau, he was trained as a halait carver responsible for the production of naxnox or secret society paraphernalia 9 2 but was described by Viola Garfield in a 1934 unpublished manuscript as "...a good natured, highly volatile and imaginative person" with " . . . l i t t l e formal training in painting and drawing, either by white or native teachers..." and whose paintings "...are done in a s t i l t e d manner with very l i t t l e regard for perspective...." 9 3 8 9. National Gallery, West Coast Catalogue, p.13. 9 0. Ibid, p. 13. 9 1. See Marius Barbeau, "Frederick Alexie: A Primitive," Canadian Review of Music and Art 3:11 and 12 (1945), pp.19-22. Barbeau received his information in a letter from William Benyon dated November 17, 1944 and now found in the Barbeau Northwest Coast Files at the Centre for the Study of Canadian Folklore, Canadian Museum of Civilization (Reference: B-F-159.4). Alexie is also discussed in: Ronald W. Hawker, "Frederick Alexie: Euro-Canadian Discussions of a First Nations Artist," Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 11:2 (1991), pp.229-252, and Deidre (Tedds) Simmons, "History of Contemporary Canadian Indian Art," European Review of native American Studies 5:1 (1991). 9 2. Ibid. 9 3. Viola Garfield, "Wood Carving and Painting," unpublished 132 Barbeau writes: The two paintings by Fred Alexee 9 4 [sic] might be placed among the primitives of Canadian art here exhibited. They are worth special notice. In European countries primitive paintings have been prized for their naivete, their charm and the historical perspective which they confer upon the development of art. In Canada this category has so far eluded search, i f we except Indian art pure and simple. 9 5 Barbeau later added: "The totem-like features and plastic treatment of the figures shown here belong partly to the art of the North West Coast Indians and partly to the conceptions of the white people within the fold of the church. This blend of two cultures... is a rare accident at the frontiers of two worlds. It makes his paintings and carvings exceptional, fascinating, significant. . . " 9 6 Through his inclusion of Alexie, Barbeau opens up a new facet to the narrative of social evolution. In this discussion, Alexie's paintings are used to mediate the myth of cultural extinction and the physical survival of First Nations peoples by serving as stepping stone from the old to the new, from "primitivism" to "modernity." Alexie becomes the missing link, bridging the "Native past" with the "Euro-Canadian" present. In manuscript, August-September 1934, p.102. (This manuscript was forwarded to me by George MacDonald, Director of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, who identified the source for the paper as the University of Washington Archives.) 9 4. Alexie is variously spelt as Alexcee, Alexei, Alexee, or Alexie in both published texts and museum f i l e s . 9 5. National Gallery, West Coast catalogue, p.13. . Barbeau, "Frederick Alexie," p.21. 133 the catalogue text, there is no mistaking the tone and tense of most object descriptions. They are works from the past. Both tense and tone change in the examination of Alexie, who was part of the realm of the present, and thus seemed an appropriate bridge to the next two entries for Carr. Carr's objects other than paintings in turn bridge the f i r s t section with the painting l i s t of the second. The entries on Carr's hooked rugs and pottery begin with the statement: "Miss Carr has spent many years among the Indians and has succeeded in getting them to revive many of their native arts." 9 7 While this endows Carr with an authority and influence that she did not possess, her relationship with the "Indians" is then legitimized with the statement that "[s]he has received the -name of Klee Wyck - (She who laughs)." 9 8 This, of course, was a nickname and had nothing to do with the acquisition of a ceremonial name. Yet commercially, identification with the marginalized 'primitive' was good for Carr's modernist image, reinforcing her own position outside of the bourgeois status quo and firmly within Canada's new avant-garde; a position that Morrison argues Barbeau also supported by picking up "...Carr's own statements about her 'discouragement over the utter lack of public interest' in her work in Victoria which resulted in Carr discontinuing after 1914. This was not, in fact, the case, since Carr had been painting and exhibiting since 1924, but the myth of 'discovery' was connected to a Cinderella syndrome in which the 9 7. National Gallery, West Coast catalogue, p.13. 9 8. Ibid, p.13. 134 talented woman painter was rescued from oblivion by a member of the patriarchal e l i t e , a myth in which both Carr and Barbeau participated."" The exhibition was an important one. Not only did i t s strategy of a f f i l i a t i o n legitimize the use of First Nations subjects as a Canadian theme and promote the contemporary Euro-Canadian artists working in this direction, i t also raised the profile of Northwest Coast objects from the steamship boardwalk vendors and curio shops to the National Gallery. Barbeau's own interest in Alexie and his inclusion in the exhibit broke the paradigm of First Nations as past and Euro-Canadian as present and signaled a tentative but growing recognition of the possibility of contemporary First Nations art. IV. Summary Each of the important participants in these federal projects around Northwest Coast objects during the 1920s had specific, sometimes conflicting, objectives in mind. Scott and the preservation committee used the in situ preservation project as part of a wider strategy for the highly centralized economic development of northwest British Columbia, writing legislation intended to guarantee Ottawa's control of objects and their meanings in the construction of a national identity and touristic draw. Barbeau used his fieldwork to both accumulate documentary information on poles for his later, better known published works and supplemented his museum salary by negotiating independently 9 9. Morrison, Canadian Art and Cultural Appropriation, p.65. 135 for the sale of the poles he documented to other institutions. While asserting his own ethnographic authority through both projects, he was also interested in the increasingly popular concept of the Canadian mosaic, 1 0 0 which sought to break down the cultural hegemony of Anglo-Celtic Canada and make way for other ethnic contributions to the fabric of national "culture." 1 0 1 Carr tied her rising star to the marginalized status of First Nations arts as a means of reaffirming her own public image as a misunderstood, avant-garde painter aligned with the socially down-trodden against a patriarchal e l i t e - the same e l i t e that ensured her commercial success through their "discovery" of her work. The two projects also had different audiences in mind. The preservation project addressed railway tourists and the National Gallery show was for the Euro-Canadian "cultural" e l i t e specifically in the main eastern cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. The preservation project, along with the efforts of competing municipal organizations like AHSAV in Vancouver, contributed to the public perception of First Nations objects as "Canadian" and built on the reconfiguration of meaning for those objects so c h i l l i n g l y exemplified in the display of potlatch goods from the Cranmer potlatch. The understanding of Northwest Coast objects as, f i r s t , a national heritage, and second, an h i s t o r i c a l Canadian art, was part of a colonialist method of 1 0 0. The mosaic was a term that gained widespread popularity in Canada with the 1937 publication of Gibbon's Canadian Mosaic, but the concept can be seen in development in Barbeau's writings from the late 1920s and early 1930s. 1 0 1. Gibbon, Canadian Mosaic. 136 disempowerment that transformed practices constructive of indigenous p o l i t i c a l power into practices suitable for touristic and nationalistic consumption. In this way, federal o f f i c i a l s extended their control over First Nations people. However, Barbeau, with his interests in folk art and the Canadian mosaic, contributed to a new understanding of First Nations visual production through his participation in the National Gallery show. The fact that Alexie and Edenshaw were not only included but also named in the exhibition undermined the previously unrelenting emphasis on First Nations objects as anonymous products of a distant past, an emphasis a l l too evident in the preservation project. The acknowledgment of individual First Nations artists opened the possibility of the contemporary expression of "Indianness" in Euro-Canadian public spaces. This was something contrary to the ultimate goal of assimilation and perhaps even heralded assimilation's demise. 1 3 7 CHAPTER 4 The 'New Deals:' George Raley and Depression-era Reform i n British Columbia The Great Depression dramatically influenced the development of Native American touristic industries in both the United States and Canada. During the American presidential administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the social reform ideals of the 1920s became o f f i c i a l l y entrenched as public policy under the direction of John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. In Canada, however, the impact of the Great Depression smothered any further major participation on behalf of governmental institutions in the collecting or display of Northwest Coast objects until after the Second World War. Not only did the Great Depression wreak economic havoc on First Nations communities, the cash-strapped federal government could no longer afford the legitimizing programmes of i t s museums. The perception with which many middle-class non-Native Canadians were l e f t was that the state had abandoned i t s fiduciary responsibility. The vacuum in museum activity was f i l l e d in Canada by missionaries and educators seeking to extend the reconfiguration of First Nations objects to include the sale of contemporary "Indian art." This chapter examines how the economic c r i s i s of the Great Depression fostered the use of First Nations objects as a primary resource in the social discourses centred on the welfare and education of First Nations people in the United States and then in Canada. Ultimately, this led to a shift in the promotion of Native American and First Nations art as a 1 3 8 product of the past to a concentration on promoting and managing i t as an industry of the present - a strategy that had enormous influence on the shape of museum and other institutional activities from 1945 on. Mandatory industrial training for First Nations boys had been common in residential schools since the 1880s, emphasizing the role of resource-based wage labour in "modern" Canada.1 British Columbia's resource industries, like logging, mining, and salmon fishing and processing, s t i l l provided adequate employment (and investment return) in the 1920s when Scott, the Department of Indian Affairs, and the Canadian National Railway took an active interest in British Columbia's totem poles. Since the pre-First World War collecting craze had passed, more money could be made on the boats or in the canneries, industries that seem to have intersected well with pre-colonial Kwakwaka'wakw economic pursuits anyway,2 than in labour-intensive souvenir carving. As with many of his policy decisions, i t appeared that Scott preferred financially-prudent bureaucratic administration over the department's direct economic encouragement on the reserves. Titley suggests that his "parsimonious approach was a disaster" 3 when i t came to such essential human issues as health care. The safety of individuals was sacrificed for the sake of a balanced account book. And so, although Scott was certainly interested in First Nations objects, he never deemed i t necessary to promote their current production. For those in Ottawa, 'Indian art' was nothing more than inspiration for the creativity of 'modern' 1. Titley, A Narrow Vision, pp.78-83. 2. Codere, Fighting with Property, pp.20-21. 1 3 9 a r t i s t s . Scott believed his own poetry, i t seems - that "the race has waned and l e f t but tales of ghosts,"4 or, as Marius Barbeau wrote more bluntly, "[t]he art now belongs to the past." 5 But the "Vanishing American" paradigm weakened in some circles in the 1920s and the Great Depression demonstrated how much of a failure i t had been as the source of policy, both in Canada and the United States. Not only were First Nations peoples social "outcasts," 6 stated Diamond Jenness in 1934, "economically they are an encumbrance."7 With the near financial collapse of the Canadian government and widespread unemployment after 1929, c r i s i s conditions stimulated calls for sweeping systemic reform, suggesting that the Canadian government could relieve i t s e l f of an "encumbrance" by overhauling the Department of Indian Affairs. These calls were formulated in terms of state intervention for the sake of the economy and focused, in terms of 'Indian' policy, on First Nations objects, something saleable because of their association with indigenous tradition and pre-modern heritage. The election of liberal governments in North America hastened the adoption of Keynesian theory in a state-managed economy and the rhetorical use of pluralism as a model for national intra-group cooperation. In both Canada and the United States this was a time of transition - a shift from 3. Titley, A Narrow Vision, p.202. 4. Duncan Campbell Scott, "Indian Place-Names," Powassan's Drum: Poems of Duncan Campbell Scott, Eds. Raymond Souster and Douglas Lochhead, Ottawa: Tecumseh Press, 1985, p.17. 5. Marius Barbeau, Totem Poles of the Gitksan, Upper Skeena River, British Columbia, Ottawa: National Museum of Canada Bulletin Number 61, Anthropological Series, Number 12 1929, p . l . 6. Diamond Jenness, quoted in Morrison, Canadian Art and Cultural Appropriation, p.23. r! Ibid, p.23"! 1 4 0 assimilation to integration, when the maintenance of indigenous heritage within the framework of state capitalism had become possible and desirable. Provincial lobbying activities centred on the arts in British Columbia after the on-set of the Great Depression took a tack quite different from Scott's earlier federalist policy directions. Social reformers called f i r s t for the provision of encouragement, opportunity and limited training for First Nations practitioners, and second, the creation of "Indian-mindedness" among the art-consuming general public. These programs, like George Raley's efforts at encouraging government support for the arts or the British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society's attempts at systematizing both art consumption and production, have been ignored in the academic discourses surrounding First Nations art. They were nonetheless important in pressuring different levels of government to create programmes that enshrined indigenous history as a continuing, positive force in modern l i f e . In short, they heralded the proclamation of a cultural "renaissance" in the provincial totem pole salvage and carver training programmes of the 1940s and 1950s. It was in this re-structuring phase that the p o l i t i c a l nature of contemporary First Nations public art became overt as i t s a b i l i t y to attract public attention was recognized and ut i l i z e d . Not only did the Great Depression affect the ways in which state o f f i c i a l s approached indigenous arts, i t also indirectly expanded the public uses of these arts, including, for First Nations, resistance to the intent of the Indian Act. 1 4 1 I. S o c i a l Reform i n the United States and the "Indian New Deal" The relocation and preservation of poles in Canada in the 1920s were not isolated incidents. In addition to the collecting activities of the large municipal museums from New York and Chicago, a number of local efforts in Alaska focused on the preservation of Tlingit poles prior to the Great Depression. As early as 1890, a public park had been created around a cluster of poles at the village of Kiksadi, where the Russians had won control of Sitka in 1804.8 This park became the "Sitka National Monument" by executive order of President William Howard Taft in 1910 in order to prevent vandalism.9 Another presidential proclamation in 1916 created the National Monument of Old Kasaan, a Haida village on Prince of Wales Island abandoned around the turn of the century. 1 0 Alaskan judge James Wickersham began a movement to preserve totem poles at Port Tongass in 1920, including most notably the so-called "Abraham Lincoln totem,"11 a pole erected in 1867 and containing a portrait of the American president as i t s top figure. 1 2 The same year James Gordon Steese, President of the Alaska Road Commission, was granted $200 to raise and repaint fallen poles at Sitka. 1 3 Between 1921 and 1938, organizations and service clubs, like the Wrangell Chamber of Commerce and the Ketchikan American 8. Keithahn, Monuments in Cedar, p.119. 9. Ibid, p.119. 1 0. Ibid, p.119. 1 1. Marius Barbeau, Totem Poles, Volume I, Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1990, pp.403-404. 1 2. Keithahn, Monuments in Cedar, p.120. 1 4 2 Legion Post carried out sporadic restoration efforts. Walter Waters of Wrangell purchased and removed a number of poles from villages on the west coast to s i t outside his Bear Totem Store in Wrangell. Waters' "preservation" activities included the use of rock salt to prevent dry rot, the removal of rotted wood, r e f i l l i n g of cavities with concrete, and repainting. 1 4 Although none of these individual projects matched the scale of the Smith-supervised project in the Skeena Valley, collectively they il l u s t r a t e a shared concern for totem poles specifically and First Nations "art" generally as a regional symbol and hence an attraction for tourists. These efforts in Alaska echoed earlier activities in the promotion of Native American arts in the Southwest.15 In his detailed survey of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Robert Fay Schrader reports that the American government had been interested in promoting Native American arts and crafts as early as 1863.16 The interest, writes Schrader, i n i t i a l l y stemmed from "...an increasing concern over the effects of industrialization on the quality of everyday life.... As the years passed, however, the 1 3. Ibid, p.120. 1 4. Ibid, pp. 120-122. 1 5. Molly Mullin argues that the Southwest became the focal point of American cultural nationalists because i t was where they "...were most apt to encounter Indians, [and because i t ] held promising pos s i b i l i t i e s for remapping the geography and aesthetics of American identity - away from Europe and from colonial New England - by virtue of monuments of comparable antiquity and landscapes, commodities, and people appearing startlingly unique." (Molly M. Mullin, "The Patronage of Difference: Making Indian Art 'Art, Not Ethnology,'" The Traffic In Culture: Refiguring Art and Anthropology, Eds. George E. Marcus and Fred R. Myers, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1995, p.169.) 1 6. Robert Fay Schrader, The Indian Arts and Crafts Board: An Aspect of New Deal Indian Policy, Albuquerque: University of 1 4 3 Indian Office came to emphasize the development of Indian crafts into manufacturing industries. Contrary to the popular emphasis on arts and crafts as an antidote to the effects of industrialization, the motivation behind the federal government' s...role in Indian arts and crafts was a desire to industrialize the Indians." 1 7 Pueblo ceramics had gained notice with the westward expansion of Euro-America in the last third of the nineteenth century. The completion of the Santa Fe Railway in 1880 and the military defeat of the southern Plains people contributed to Santa Fe's reputation as a tourist destination. Marketing efforts by J. Walter Fewkes, Hewett and Chapman of the School of American Research, the Museum of New Mexico, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Fred Harvey hotel chain, and individual traders like C. G. Wallace and Thomas Keam a l l helped establish craft production, most often for tourists, as an important economic pursuit in the Southwest. By the 1920s, the works of ceramicists like Nampeyo and Maria Martinez were commanding significant prices for their works based on historical or archaeological models, sustained at least in part by the institutional efforts of the School of American Research and the Santa Fe-based Indian Arts Fund.18 However, good markets had also opened for basketry, Navajo textiles, silver jewellery, Pueblo kachina carving, and easel painting. As an industry, New Mexico Press, 1983. 1 7. Ibid, p.3. 1 8. J. J. Brody, Indian Painters and White Patrons, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971, and "Pueblo Fine Arts," Handbook: Volume 9: Southwest, Ed. Alfonso Ortiz, Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1979. 1 4 4 Southwest Native American art had shown great growth potential. Ruth Roessel, for example, cites the value of Navajo weaving alone in 1930 at $1,000,000, up from i t s 1890 value of $30,000.19 The v i t a l i t y of Pueblo and Navajo "cultures" as exemplified in the thriving crafts market was seen to contradict the myth of the Vanishing American. It was here, suggests Brian Dippie, that the "revolutionary idea of Indian continuity and survival" 2 0 was best represented. It was also here that the state could simultaneously address two of i t s primary functions, accumulation and legitimization. The ideas of the Arts and Crafts discourse and the growing anti-assimilationist sentiments of liberal Euro-American social reformers served as sources for a major national policy shift instigated by the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933, an event that increased the promotion of Tlingit and other Native American arts and set models for similar programmes in Canada. The fundamental idea behind Roosevelt's presidential platform, his so-called New Deal, was an increase in state participation in economic management as a way of combating the effects of the stock market crash and the consequent spiral of international responses impacting the American domestic economy. With the financial disarray of the Great Depression, increased state interventions helped f a c i l i t a t e American business, including the business of art, as well as soothe class and ethnic 1 9. Ruth Roessel, "Navajo Arts and Crafts," Handbook of North American Indians: Volume 10: Southwest, Ed. Alfonso Ortiz, Washington: Smithsonian Institute, 1983. 2 0. Brian W. Dippie, The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and United States Indian Policy, Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1982, p.285. 1 4 5 divisions. The protectionism of the 1920s and early 1930s was replaced under Roosevelt with strategic social expenditures as part of a managed economy - the birth of the welfare state in North America.21 The promotion of Native American arts was part of the wider programme of soothing ethnic divisions through the reform of the educational curricula. 2 2 The federal government in the United States encouraged art production in the schools as both a means of recognizing Native American "cultures" and of stimulating their economic independence. John Collier, one of the most outspoken of United States Indian policy opponents, was selected Commissioner of Indian Affairs immediately after Roosevelt's election. In 1934, Collier announced the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs policy agenda as the economic rehabilitation of Native Americans, principally on their own lands; the organization of tribes for managing their own affairs; and c i v i l and cultural freedom and Or, as E l l i s W. Hawley, explains, one of the legacies of the New Deal "...was the rapid rise of an organizational economy, which brought with i t large areas of 'private government,' new bureaucratic-scientific-professional values, and a persistent search for order and stability, primarily through the creation of ever larger associative and hierarchic structures, the infusing of these with a new set of managerial attitudes and group loyalties, and the use of the state, where necessary and expedient, to further the process....The other major aspect of the...New Deal was the expansion and nationalization of social services, exemplified particularly in the Social Security Act, the work relief program, the housing and conservation activities, and the protective labour and rural rehabilitation measures. In one sense now, 'welfare capitalism, ' community-centred welfare, and the patronage-oriented welfare were a l l giving way to a larger and broader 'welfare statism.' Yet again, significant as this change was, the patterns adopted worked in some respects to strengthen rather than displace existing institutions." (Ellis W. Hawley, "The New Deal and Business," The New Deal: The National Level, Eds. John Braeman, Robert H. Bremner, and David Brody, Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1975, p.52 and 87.) 2 2. John Braeman, Robert H. Bremner, and David Brody, 1 4 6 opportunity for Native Americans. These objectives were more or less realized with the introduction of the Wheeler-Howard Indian Rights b i l l in 1934. Sometimes called the Indian Re-organization Act or the Indian New Deal, i t suspended the allotment policy of the 1887 Dawes Act and instituted limited forms of self-government. It advocated the gradual phasing out of boarding schools and the incorporation of a s p i r i t of cultural relativism in the school curriculum. 2 3 A sub-section entitled "Special Education for Indians" declared i t "to be the purpose and policy of Congress to promote the study of Indian c i v i l i z a t i o n and preserve and develop the special cultural contributions and achievements of such c i v i l i z a t i o n , including Indian arts, crafts, s k i l l s , and traditions." 2 4 In the Indian New Deal, arts-related education and research and the infrastructure for marketing and distribution came together under state management. Not only did the state continue to encapsulate a l l aspects of Native American l i f e within i t s bureaucracy, i t sought to market Native American heritage for the f i r s t time. This strategy hinged i t s e l f on a new understanding of the American nation, one that at least rhetorically sought to include ethnic diversity as part of the American experience. American federal o f f i c i a l s encouraged this diversity through education concentrating more directly on what was understood to be Native American "culture" and the c a l l to Euro-America for b i -cultural enjoyment through the consumption of Native American products. These efforts represented an attempt at bridging "Introduction," New Deal, p.x. 2 3. Dippie, The Vanishing American, pp.327-334. 1 4 7 different segments of the United States and in this sense demonstrate a shift away from assimilation towards integration and the maintenance of ethnic identity within the context of loyalty to the American state. The ingredients for the American melting pot were now expected to maintain their distinctive flavours, rather than simply disappear into a homogenous stew dominated by the Anglo-Saxon majority. Consequently, markets could open for unique luxury items produced within these ethnically-distinct pockets for consumption in the rest of "modern" America. This emphasis on the promotion of Native American "culture" would have significant influence on the development of Native American arts. In conjunction with act's creation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board in 1935, i t institutionalized the production of Native American arts. The Indian Arts and Crafts Board further realized state intervention in the business of "Indian art" in i t s attempts to manage the problems of production, marketing, distribution, and quality control. The board co-operated directly in important exhibitions of Native American objects as fine art at the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco in 1939 and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941. Under the curatorial direction of Rene d'Harnoncourt, the General Manager of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board hired by Collier, and Frederic Douglas, curator of the Denver Art Museum, these exhibitions went a long way in establishing an understanding of this material as "art" and in promoting contemporary Native American artists like Hopi painter Quoted in Ibid, p.325. 1 4 8 Fred Kabotie. In southeast Alaska, the Indian New Deal resulted in a public works programme under the supervision of Frank Heintzelman of the Forestry Service, whose objectives were to "...salvage, re-carve and relocate at least a selection of the region's disintegrating totem poles into prescribed Totem Parks." 2 5 The C i v i l i a n Conservation Corps made available $127,000 to hire Alaskan Natives for the project. 2 6 Polly Miller reports: News of the undertaking f i r s t reached the public through the Indian Affairs newssheet, Indians at Work, which explained that old skil l e d native carvers were employed to give technical direction and to instruct younger Indians in the art, most of whom had no knowledge of i t . Clusters of these poles 'restored with faithful accuracy,' now stand in public parks at Saxman, Totem Bight, and Klawock.27 The project contributed to a greater non-Native appreciation of the contemporary accomplishments of Native Americans. The Indian Art of the United States exhibition in New York in 1941, "aesthetically dominated by the arts of the Northwest Coast," 2 8 was especially i n f l u e n t i a l . 2 9 Sponsored by the United States National Museum and with contributions from the Royal Ontario Museum, d'Harnoncourt and Douglas established their mandate as the improvement of the reception and consumption of "Indian art" and the encouragement of the appreciation of Indian Polly Miller, Lost Heritage of Alaska: The Adventure and Art of the Alaskan Coastal Indians, Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Company, 1967, p.253. 2 6. Ibid, p.262. 2 7. Ibid, p.262. 2 8. Ibid, p.253. 2 9. The exhibition is discussed in specific in: W. Jackson Rushing, "Marketing the A f f i n i t y of the Primitive and the Modern: Rene d'Harnoncourt and 'Indian Art of the United States,'" The 1 4 9 achievement under New Deal policy. Improving the reception of "Indian art" involved re-iterating the mythic connection between Native Americans and the American landscape within a modern context. "Indian art from coast to coast actually recreates the land, America, in every one of i t s countless variations," wrote d'Hanoncourt and Douglas. "...Indian art not only has a place but actually f i l l s a concrete need in the United States today. Its close relationship to America, the land, and i t s unexplored wealth of forms offer a valuable contribution to Modern American art and l i f e . " 3 0 While Canadians were slow to follow the example of the Indian New Deal, a regulated and controlled market for First Nations art seemed to address two important concerns for social reformers in Canada. First, the promotion of First Nations heritage at least superficially encouraged a more inclusive attitude towards First Nations people and provided a focus around which other issues, such as health and welfare, could be discussed in the public realm. Second, the encouragement of the arts as a viable economic pursuit might provide some alleviation of the numbing poverty associated with reserve l i f e in Canada and thus hasten the economic assimilation of First Nations people. Shortly after Collier's appointment as United States Indian Commissioner, reformers in Canada began citing American policy as a model for new directions, a c a l l that would take First Nations art in British Columbia in a different, but related direction. 3 1 Early Years of Native American Art History, pp.191-238. . Frederic H. Douglas and Rene d'Harnoncourt, Indian Art of the United States, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1941, p.15. T r i Very quickly the term New Deal became something of a 1 5 0 I I . Reverend George Raley and The C a l l f o r a Canadian New Deal While the early to mid-1920s saw an economic high in British Columbia, the financial collapse of October 1929 paralysed the provincial economy. With the international demand for primary products in severe decline, resource-oriented regions like British Columbia were the hardest h i t . 3 2 The building trade and lumber industries f e l l into disorganization. Reversals in the mining, lumbering, and fishing industries accompanied a glut in the world wheat market. By 1930, the Okanagan fru i t industry suffered serious setbacks and western Canada's unemployed flooded Vancouver, already swollen with 7000 unemployed men, in search of a climate milder than the Prairie winter. In 1931, there were 237 r e l i e f camps in British Columbia housing one-third of the p o l i t i c a l cliche in both the United States and Canada. T. W. L. MacDermot, writing in 1933, stated that the "principles of p o l i t i c a l organization and evolution...constitute a real significance of the experiment for a studious Canada...!,]" including specifically i t s principle of unification. MacDermot writes: "The New Deal is based on a centralized, organic view of the national l i f e , in which a l l its principal parts are to be organized and integrated for the common task of building a shattered society.... Canada is far from being a genuine national unity as yet, either in constitutional, economic, or p o l i t i c a l respects, and the utilization of this principle in a l l these respects could be of profound moment to the Dominion." (T. W. L. MacDermot, "The Significance for Canada of the American 'New Deal,' in Michael Horn, The Dirty Thirties: Canadians in the Great Depression, Toronto: Copp Clark, 1972, p.486.) Canadian Prime Minister R. B. Bennett announced in 1935 the failure of laissez-faire capitalism and a reform package, instantly labelled a New Deal, in an unsuccessful bid for re-election. (Michael Bliss, Right Honourable Men: The Descent of Canadian Politics from MacDonald to Mulroney, Toronto: Harper-Collins, 1994, p.115.) British Columbia Premier T. Dufferin Pattullo also sought re-election in 1933 under a reform package he termed the "Little New Deal." (Margaret Ormsby, "T. Dufferin Pattullo and the L i t t l e New Deal." The Dirty Thirties, pp.620-634.) 2. Michael Horn, The Great Depression of the 1930s in Canada, Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association Historical Booklet Number 1 5 1 " r e l i e f men" in Canada. Accusations of government and r e l i e f mismanagement flew as the provincial de f i c i t soared to $165 million by 1933 and the ranks of the provincial unemployed numbered 100, 000.33 Ormsby describes Vancouver in the 1930s as a "shabby and battered city, more scarred by the depression than any other city in Canada."34 The situation for First Nations in British Columbia was further aggravated by the already limited economic opportunities on most reserves, widespread racism, intra-Canadian emigration and the consequent increase in competition for seasonal work, and an inequity in r e l i e f payments. Of course, the severity of this economic c r i s i s was not limited to British Columbia. The response to the Great Depression became the central p o l i t i c a l question of the 1930s and has impacted government structure in North America since. The two options open to the Canadian government in 1930 have been characterized as the maintenance of the status quo policy of l a i s s e z - f a i r e economics versus the adoption of a Keynesian state-managed economy in a guise similar to Roosevelt's comprehensive New Deal policy in the United States. For Canadians, the American New Deal not only served as a model, i t also both legitimized social reform efforts and provided hope. American developments demonstrated that reform could indeed be successfully implemented. In British Columbia, Reverend George Raley (figure 19) was the f i r s t to attempt to follow the Indian New Deal lead. George 39, 1984, pp.4-7. 3 3. Ormsby, British Columbia, pp.439-469. 1 5 2 Raley was born in Barnsley, England in 1864 and came to Canada in 1882. He was appointed Methodist missionary to the Haisla community of Kitamaat in 1893 where he printed and published the periodical Na-na-kwa (Dawn of the West Coast) from 1898 on. From 1904 to 1914 he was the Superintendent of the Port Simpson District which included a l l the area north of Alert Bay. In 1906, he transferred to Port Simpson and in 1914 he became the principal at Coqualeetza in the Fraser Valley. He retired to Vancouver in 1934 and the bulk of his collection, assembled primarily in Kitamaat and Port Simpson during the collecting craze of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, went to the University of British Columbia in 1948. Raley passed away in 1958.35 As principal of the Coqualeetza Residential School in Sardis in the Fraser Valley, Raley was part of the system, but especially after his retirement in 1934 he also advocated reform of the Department of Indian Affairs and the way in which i t managed the "Indian problem." The Coqualeetza School i t s e l f was something of an anomaly, a Protestant missionary school in a Catholic zone that would count important future p o l i t i c a l leaders like George Manuel36 and Peter Kelly 3 7 among i t s alumni. Raley, 3 4. Ibid, p.469. 3 5. UBC MOA Parallel Accession Files. 3 6. Paul Tennant calls George Manuel "...the pre-eminent leader of the peoples of the interior." (Tennant, Aboriginal Peoples and Politics, p.125.) He helped found the Aboriginal Native Rights Committee of the Interior Tribes of British Columbia in 1959, the North American Indian Brotherhood in 1960, and was an important member of the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia. (Ibid, pp.127-132.) 3 7. An ordained Methodist and later United Church minister, Peter Kelly was a leader in the Allied Tribes of British Columbia and the Native Brotherhood of British Columbia. (Ibid, pp.77, 94, 1 5 3 like Collier, focused on reforming First Nations education and combined this reform s p i r i t with his own personal interest in First Nations heritage. Raley is important in a number of different ways. He was well known around Vancouver. His large, comprehensive collection of Northwest Coast material served for a time during the 1930s as Vancouver's de facto municipal museum and provided significant portions of the Northwest Coast collections at the Royal Ontario Museum and the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology. He also exemplified a growing dissatisfaction with the management of Indian Affairs and articulated the ideological arguments and promotional strategies discussed by Canadian social reformers during the Great Depression. His actions further demonstrate the increasing d i f f i c u l t y of the independent, amateur and volunteer cultural organizations in realizing their objectives in the 1930s. In a cash-strapped society, these organizations looked to the state for reform leadership. However, the state was absorbed by d e f i c i t and welfare payments and instigated government restructuring i n i t i a l l y only to solve i t s own financial crises. a. Raley's 'Canadian Indian Arts and Crafts Board' Raley combined writing with more practical activities in promoting provincial and national arts programs. He wrote texts centred on his vision of a "revival of Indian art and handicraft as a welfare movement,"38 echoing the earlier calls of Harlan 117-129.) 3 8. See G. H. Raley, "Important Considerations Involved in the 1 5 4 Smith in Ottawa in the 1920s and paralleling similar developments in the other provinces, 3 9 and was the f i r s t major figure to attempt the implementation of a handicraft guild organization in the marketing of First Nations objects in British Columbia. His concern stemmed f i r s t from his intimate knowledge of reservation poverty and the social blockade i t represented, and second from his dismay at the prejudice-driven unwillingness of Anglo-Saxon Canada to bear what he saw as i t s paternalistic responsibility for the f u l l economic assimilation of First Nations people. "[A]part from Government and Church aid in medical, educational and missionary service...," he wrote, "comparatively l i t t l e has been expended on the economic problems of the Indians." 4 0 He contributed his own collection for public displays and his activity with AHSAV saw the confluence of a number of circumstances in the promotion of individual artists, something that would have to l i e at the foundation of any successful revival or promotional programme. Raley began this line of pursuit in the early 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression. Influenced by Roosevelt's developing New Deal Policy in the United States, Raley was also aware of the contemporary state encouragement of arts and crafts associations and other cottage industries in Britain and conceived of adapting these programs as an economic solution for Canadian problems. His choice of words in discussing art, his Treatise on 'Canadian Indian Art and Industries,'" unpublished, n.d., PABC Raley Papers, HD R13 R13.3 (II). 3 9. See Gerald McMaster, "Tenuous Lines of Descent: Indian Art and Craft of the Reservation Period," In the Shadow of the Sun, pp.93-120. 4 0. Ibid, p.2. 1 5 5 aesthetic sensibilities, and his vision of art as a social tool a l l derived from well-established usages in the earlier Arts and Crafts discourse. For Raley, the arts were not simply a historical product, but they were also a solution to what he saw as the "Indian problem." Sometime in the 1930s, Raley summarized the plight of those producing objects for sale cross-culturally within the imagery of Depression-era chaos. Choosing a female basket weaver as the symbol of the vulnerability of the curio producer, he wrote that: The basket-making woman is often seen on the streets of our villages, towns and ci t i e s with a clumsily wrapped bundle of baskets for sale. She naturally wants cash, sometimes d i f f i c u l t to get. Rather than not make a sale, she barters them for old, second-hand clothes and learns how to haggle. Now, in the eyes of an intending purchaser the goods are cheapened before they are sold and the Indian woman is led to believe her goods are different from those of the whites and not worth cash, so she has to be content to swap them for food, old clothes or anything. It is not an unusual sight to see an aged Indian near a curbstone market or sitting on the sidewalk in a l l kinds of weather, or in some other public place, trying to effect a sale. It is neither profitable to the Indian nor creditable to Canadians.... It would be very helpful to the women i f this form of labour were organized. 4 1 Raley's solution was certainly confined by the colonial vision of First Nations people as lower class labourers. And in this sense, the reform he called for was limited, 4 2 coming from 4 1. Ibid, p.36. 4 2. As Schrader demonstrates, Raley had to be careful i f he wanted to generate the general public's acceptance of his programmes. Similarly liberal reformers in the United States were dismissed by New Deal opponents as enforcing "...nothing more 156 within the system and i t s ideologies. The pressures he applied in his promotion of change were structured by the bureaucracy of the Department of Indian Affairs. An example of this can be seen in Raley's attempts to confirm funding for an arts program through the Department of Indian Affairs in 1934. The nuances of art versus handicraft versus industry, as can be sensed in correspondence between Raley to Indian Agency o f f i c i a l s , took on an urgency during this period in the battleground for limited public funding. Competition for attention stimulated semantic negotiation. Words like "art" or even "handicraft" ignited public interest, while "industrial arts" attracted public funding. Raley wrote to Indian Agent Daunt: The enclosed copy of the Department's letter... dated Ottawa April 23rd, states the reason why the Department is not disposed to make a grant of $600.oo to continue the teaching of Indian pupils their native handicrafts such as weaving, basketry, etc. It is evident from the wording of the letter my recommendation did not carry weight enough, neither did I persuade the Department of the v i t a l importance of the undertaking. I hope you w i l l forgive me i f I write at length to explain more fu l l y the terms of my letter which appear to be vague, to emphasize the need and renew the request for a grant. I was unfortunate using the term "handicraft arts." The meaning would have been obvious i f I had used the term "Indian industrial arts." However, the term "handicraft arts" generally expresses to me, when applied to the Indians of the Pacific Coast, the whole range of cultural activities and industries. In other words, the washing, carding, spinning, knitting, weaving, carving, and bead work, with symbolic Indian designs are or less than communism as practiced in Soviet Russia." (Schrader, The Indian Arts and Crafts Board, p.245.) 1 5 7 "Indian industrial arts." 4 3 Canadian social reformers thus faced s t i f f opposition from both the general public and the administration. Although the Indian Arts and Crafts Board also worked to set up cooperative r e t a i l outlets for curios on or near reservations, the American government recognized the general public's resistance to the conception of Native American products as "art" and used the Board for marketing purposes. This is why the exhibitions i t co-sponsored included sections on "Indian Art for Modern Living." 4 4 Raley advocated a similar approach, but he f i r s t had to convince public bureaucrats who better understood the value of industrial training for a primarily resource-oriented province, especially since industrial training had been one of the goals of Indian Affairs since the 1890s. His option was to form an independent board without public financing, a d i f f i c u l t task during that era. In his public lectures and writing, Raley was careful to follow the wording of the Arts and Crafts discourse. He had assembled his own collection at the height of the movement's popularity; presumably, he found i t s rhetoric personally appealing. He suggested, for example, that the "...machine age is ...responsible for the decay of [Indian] handicrafts." 4 5 His focus on both nature and healing in the arts are also reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement. He defined two kinds of "Indian arts and crafts," both involving "...the s k i l f u l adaptation and 4 3. George H. Raley to A. 0. N. Daunt, Indian Agent, New Westminster, May 4, 1934, PABC Raley Papers. 4 4. Douglas and d'Hanoncourt, Indian Art. 1 5 8 application to some purpose and use of knowledge acquired from nature," 4 6 one pre-historic - "[n]atural art in i t s purity, before any extraneous or foreign influences..." and the other historic, having lost " r e a l i s t i c features" and becoming "conventionalized through Asiatic, Russian, Spanish and other European contacts." 4 7 He stated further that any revival of these arts "as a welfare movement...would give a new cultural activity with a sense of accomplishment and improve his [the "Indian's"] social status in the community."48 Raley, cognizant of (and perhaps at least p a r t i a l l y in agreement with) open ho s t i l i t y towards traditional First Nations pursuits like the potlatch, framed his argument for the promotion of First Nations art within the concept of historical progression and state rhetoric of 'modernizing' First Nations people through assimilation. "Ignorantly by some, maliciously by others, an undercurrent of propaganda has been maintained to the effect that Indian youth revert to type...upon their return home" from residential school. "It is true the graduates of our schools have not an easy time of i t , " writes Raley. "He has grown, the people of his village have not. He has advanced intellectually, the people of his village have been intellectually stationary. He finds a conflicting of ideals." But, Raley continues, applying the Arts and Crafts notion that the making of art produces better people, "a revival of primitive arts" would lessen rather than increase "the danger of reversion to 4 5. Raley, "Important Considerations," p.9. 4 6. Ibid, p.6. 4 ?. Ibid, p.6. 4 8. Ibid, p.13. 1 5 9 objectionable customs.... Industries would help socialize the graduate, by a common activity, and re-establish the equilibrium between him and his family and the village group."49 In essence, Raley advocated the disappearance of the ancient social order through the commoditization of i t s visual trappings. This had been the goal of offering "pre-vocational instruction in weaving, basket making, carving, art designs with Indian motifs" 5 0 at Coqualeetza School under Raley's principalship. Commoditization and the organization of i t s production on British models served as the two p i l l a r s of Raley's argument that such "industries" did not encourage "reversion to objectionable customs." Raley even demonstrated an almost prophetic understanding of how important a marketing tool Northwest Coast design might prove for Canadian business in citing the Prince of Wales' admonition that "Greater attention to the a r t i s t i c side of industry or design in industry is essential i f our manufacturers are to develop their domestic and overseas market."51 Although his primary interest was expanding the Coqualeetza experiment into a national, state-funded organization, as the organization of guilds and other supportive associations was an integral part of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain and Euro-America in the nineteenth century, Raley focused his efforts on duplicating and adapting the guild structure for the promotion of First Nations objects, particularly in British Columbia. Jb. Raley and Public Display in Vancouver 4 9. Ibid, p.10-11. 5 0. Ibid, p. 40. 1 6 0 With his personal interest in collecting First Nations objects, one of the earliest moves Raley made after retiring to Vancouver was to arrange for his collection to be put on public display. This was part of his desire to encourage the understanding and aid of First Nations people. In a letter to Vancouver City Archivist J. S. Matthews in October 1934 outlining the history of his collection, Raley demonstrated an understanding of the ways in which the salvage paradigm constructed value and authority in "ethnographic" collections: Most of the specimens are of ethnological value. Now, ethnology, as you are aware, is a view to understanding their modes of l i f e , their customs, social organizations, ceremonials, psychology, religion; and in general terms, their cultural background. Only through this study can we appreciate the early l i f e of the Indians of the North West Coast of the Pacific, and be f a i r to them.... The opportunity for first-hand information is passing quickly. We have imposed our c i v i l i z a t i o n upon their primitive culture, and are now dependent for our knowledge on the few remaining aged Indians, the sc i e n t i f i c records, and museums. It follows that a collection such as mine is symbolic, on a modest scale, of the arts, handicrafts, ceremonies, social l i f e , religion, culture of a race. In the specimens we read the l i f e history of a vanishing race. 5 2 According to a document written by J.S. Matthews in 194 6, Mrs. Raley was negotiating the sale of Raley's collection for $3500 to George Heye of the Heye Foundation in 1934 to cover tax payments, the same "foreign" individual and foundation that had purchased objects from Halliday's Cranmer deal before their shipment to Ottawa. Instead, Matthews arranged for Victor Ibid, p.23. G.H. Raley to G.S. Matthews, correspondence dated October 1 6 1 Spencer, associated with Vancouver's David Spencer Department Store, to purchase the collection at the same price since "...enough ' s t u f f has gone out of British Columbia already...." 5 3 Raley would provide for suitable display cases out of the $3500 for public display and Matthews arranged for the rotunda of the old Court House on Georgia Street as a the location for this personal museum. It was moved to the tenth floor of the newly constructed City Hall in 1937, presumably as part of the city museum intended in the start of AHSAV some forty years earlier. The collection later provided a sound basis for both the Vancouver Museum and the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology, despite some cloudy disagreement between Spencer and Raley over the amount paid. While Raley's collection was intended as a cabinet, providing specimens in which we read "the history of a vanishing race," his interest was not limited simply to the display of his career's souvenirs. It is the fulfilment of one aspect of his fiduciary responsibility, an attitude that Virginia Dominguez summarized as part of "the discourse of an educated e l i t e Euro-American community that grew to assume the value of museum collections and the 'ci v i l i z e d world's' duty to develop and maintain them."54 His collection was significant in providing f i r s t a basis for the city collection and second further symbolically connecting the municipality to First Nations "antecedents" through the objects' display in important public 6, 1934. 5 3. J. S. Matthews, "A Shameful Repudiation," June 24th, 1945, VGA. 5 4. Virginia R. Dominguez, "The Marketing of Heritage," 1 6 2 and o f f i c i a l locales. It was the public extension of his private belief, or as Dominguez terms i t , fear "...that we w i l l no longer be able to get our hands on these objects, and that this would amount to an irretrievable loss of the means of preserving our own h i s t o r i c i t y . " 5 5 The ardent belief in the progress of assimilation produced the salvage paradigm in collecting and display. Dominguez calls this a process of "two-fold displacement" where "...objects are collected no longer because of their i n t r i n s i c value but as metonymy for the people who produced them. And the people who produced them are the objects of examination not because of their intrinsic value but because of their perceived contribution to our understanding of our own historical trajectory." 5 6 And yet Raley seems to have sought to use this self-referential trajectory as a new beginning. He saw public display as a stimulus to sales. Probably due to his experience as an educator and Indian school administrator, Raley entertained a more active role for "art" in the economic development of First Nations people. For Raley, the art of the past then functioned symbolically in the manner of the two-fold displacement, and yet also opened a door of economic opportunity to the mainstream "Canadian" society of the present through the production of a unique, s t i l l metonymic, luxury product. Raley's vision is s t i l l very much mired in the British class system and i t s replication in Canada. He was, in essence, advocating arts and crafts as a product which First Nations, as a labour class, could produce for American Ethnologist 13:3 (1986), p.548. 1 6 3 the consumption of a European, presumably British, managerial e l i t e . What distinguishes Raley then from other collectors and ethnologists of his time was that, while he accepted the "invention of heritage," that is the formation of this new social memory and i t s implications for colonial self-legitimization, he pushed i t further to an "invention of art" that was not limited to the assignment of value associated with the understanding of First Nations objects simply as historical heritage. The objects had as well a more practical value as a vehicle in his vision, no matter how short-sighted, of a f a i r and just absorption for First Nations people into Euro-Canadian society. There are thus two aspects to Raley*s collection: 1) i t s assemblage and use within the Euro-Canadian community as historic metonym; and 2) i t s u t i l i t y in the promotion of a contemporary commodity market. Since i t was focused on curio production, his commoditization campaign was not intended as one of closure in the way Dominguez refers to ethnological collections where "the separation of objects from their users and the closure imposed on that separation by the act of sale l e f t museums with objects whose relevance to the cultures they presumably embody is...a Euro-American invention." 5 7 Although the value in the objects of the past was, as Dominguez notes, an unequivocally Euro-American invention, Raley, like d'Harnoncourt, hoped to manipulate this metonymic value to produce new value for newly produced objects imitating forms of the past. It is the desire for this Ibid, p.554. 1 6 4 manipulation that makes the commoditization programmes of the 1930s, like Raley's proposals, so utterly distinct from the promotional programmes of the 1920s, like the National Museum projects and AHSAVs Stanley Park village. This was another step in the transformation of the value of First Nations objects. Under state management in the 1920s, objects like crest poles were transformed into props for the construction of national identity and social memory. Raley was advocating the miniaturization and then commoditization of these props, albeit in the superficially a l t r u i s t i c hope of jump-starting an economic outlet for impoverished communities. c. The Royal Society of Arts Brief Raley outlined his own revitalization plan nationally in an address to the Royal Society of Arts in Toronto in 1934 during a tri p aimed at drumming up support among a number of circles, including the Department of Indian Affairs, museums, and established craft associations. He had toyed with the basic ideas, particularly the use of the school system to i n s t i l both s k i l l s and desire, in his work at the Coqualeetza Residential School in Sardis and had been developing a national scheme over the previous two or three years. While praising the stewardship policies of the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs, Raley called for a readjustment of policy based in part on the example of the United States' New Deal and aimed at the improvement of the economic status of First Nations people. He ju s t i f i e d his choice of the arts as a focus 1 6 5 for this economic improvement based on four primary reasons: 1) the decline from the nineteenth century zenith was largely due to "...the mistaken zeal of the white man, who overwhelmed primitive ideas and ideals with the so-called superiority of a l l things white" 5 8; 2) First Nations arts and crafts were distinctively Canadian and were "...Canada's f i r s t contribution to the world of art..." 5 9; 3) the discontentment found among First Nations graduates "...could be remedied by a revival of native arts and regional industries" 6 0; and 4) such a revival would solve the economic problem, especially i f i t could be given "...a commercial value by means of a permanent market for tourists... and...could also be linked with ordinary commercial industries and manufactures, and applied to. many commodities of trade both ornamental and useful." 6 1 Later in his address, he also pointed out that most First Nations people could not compete on equal terms with Euro-Canadians, so the arts would be a perfect beginning for economic revival as there would be no competition from Euro-Canada. Raley notes that some older artisans were s t i l l l i v i n g and young people continued to be inspired by the "...legends, symbols, and monuments of their forefathers." 6 2 In fact, in his follow-up draft, "Important Considerations Involved in the Treatise on 'Canadian Indian Art and Industries," he detailed more precisely how many people were s t i l l producing what kinds of material in various First Nations communities throughout the 5 8. Raley, "Canadian Indian Art and Industries," p.992. 5 9. Ibid, p.993. 6 0. Ibid, p.993. 6 1. Ibid, p.993. 1 6 6 province, suggesting at least twenty to twenty-five active quality carvers and citing the continuance of a number of different textile techniques. He also stressed in both papers the lack of opportunity on reserves and called for incentives for work in the offer of financial reward. His plan therefore called for the stimulation of interest in the project for the elderly, the de-emphasis of distribution found in the potlatch system, the enlistment of anthropologists and ethnologists "...who know where there is real accomplishment and finished work to be found...,"63 and an educational campaign aimed at day and residential schools. In this sense, he advocated strategies followed by Dorothy Dunn active at the Indian School in Santa Fe from 1932 to 1937 and supported after 1934 by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board. However, Raley also called for the education of the Euro-Canadian public through various media outlets in an effort to create what he called "...Indian mindedness towards primitive Indian crafts." 6 4 He further advocated securing the co-operation of railway and steamship lines, suggesting the use of a demonstration car on the main r a i l transport lines. This could a l l be accomplished under the formation of the "Canadian Indian Handicraft Arts Association or Guild", which would be organized with an o f f i c i a l patron or patroness, a board of directors, an executive with chairman, secretary and treasurer, branches with committees for each province, and l i f e , honourary and annual memberships.65 Ibid, p.993. Ibid, p.996. Ibid, p.997. Ibid, p.997-1001. 62 63 " 64 * 65 * 1 6 7 A fundamental objection raised to Raley's plan, cited by Raley himself, 6 6 was that the program could be incorporated into the existing structure of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild. As Raley had argued previously that welfare support differed for Euro-Canadians and First Nations, he continued to suggest that the a r t i s t i c situation was also unique and had to be handled by a second, albeit co-operating, organization. Raley insisted that "Indian arts" be segregated from the mainstream so as to minimize competition and wrote briefs and resolutions calling for the preservation of these handicrafts, frequently citing the 'dangerous' example of the Japanese imitative mass-production of First Nations designs. 6 7 In addition, Raley had found the Guild's forays into First Nations object marketing and support feeble. In the Guild's efforts, "[t]here was nothing to suggest Canada had in i t s borders a great zone of primitive culture." 6 8 He also pointed out that a craft store opened by the Guild in Vancouver was thin in i t s exposure of First Nations work and closed due to i t s failure in turning a prof i t . Raley must have further f e l t that the necessary start-up funding for his comprehensive vision would come from the Department of Indian Affairs. This government support would dwarf any paltry amount available within the means of the Guild and therefore necessitated a distinct arts and crafts organization. His plan went beyond these two treatises to the actual writing of a resolution for the Canadian Indian Art and 6 6. Raley, "Important Considerations," p.50. 6 7. The c a l l against the Japanese and their 'devious' economic subversion of Canadian industries was oft-cited racist cliche in British Columbia between the wars. 1 6 8 Handicraft Guild, although i f i t was ever actually formed, i t s impact was minimal. It did not result in any broad marketing campaign or in any major commissions or sales for individual artis t s . Alice Ravenhill's British Columbia Indian Arts and Welfare Society, formed only four years after Raley 1s Royal Arts Society address and following the guild-structure closely enough to indicate an awareness of, or at least a shared vision with, Raley's intentions, was to have a much more significant impact. Raley himself nonetheless made a notable practical impact on Vancouver's own, already established voluntary historical society. I l l . Summary While recent writers like Wayne Suttles and Aldona Jonaitis point to the importance of post-World War II museum and government-supported projects in promoting contemporary artists "...for the restoration or recreation of 'traditional' objects that the Indians had largely ceased producing...[,]" 6 9 allocating sole responsibility to these public institutional programmes obscures three important facts. First, First Nations peoples continued to potlatch and to produce objects for use within the potlatch as well as for sale. Second, the Great Depression forced the discontinuation of governmental pro