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- ca. 1897-1963
Abaya Martin was a skilled weaver and source of knowledge on ceremonial lore. She features prominently in an Edward S. Curtis photograph of a Tlingit wedding, where she is the bride. This was her first marriage. Her second marriage was to Chief Mungo Martin. She accompanied Mungo while he was working at the University of British Columbia where she wove two Chilkat blankets for the museum. She lived with Mungo in Victoria where he worked on the longhouse and totem poles for Thunderbird Park. She passed away a year after Mungo's death.
Agnes Alfred (nee Agnes Bertha Joe), also known as Axuw or Axuwaw. Was a non-literate noble Qwiqwasutinuxw woman from the Kwakwakawakw Nation. She was known in her community as one of the last great storytellers among her peers in the classic oral tradition.
Daisy Sewid-Smith (nee Sewid) was born in Alert Bay, BC, on November 28, 1938. Daughter of Chief James Sewid and Flora Violet Alfred, and granddaughter of Agnes Alfred. After graduating school, she took a secretarial course at Vancouver College and worked for the Indian Affairs Branch in Alert Bay. During her time in Alert Bay, she published several articles and books about the prosecution of potlatches and the confiscation and return of artifacts by the Canadian government.
In the late 1970s, her grandmother introduced her to Martine J. de Widerspach-Thor (later Martine J. Reid) with whom she recorded and translated her grandmother’s, Agnes Alfred, memoirs between 1979 and 1985. From then until the late 1990s, they put a hold in their project for personal and work-related reasons. In the late 1990s, they resumed their work, which lead to the publication of the book Paddling to Where I Stand in 2004.
Daisy Sewid-smith is one of the leading linguistic experts in the Kwakwakka’wakw community, teaching the language and developing a method to transcribe it. She wrote a grammar book for the Kwak’wala language. She also translated some of Franz Boas’ texts in the context of land claim issues and contributed to the UN convention on the rights of the child. Sewid-Smith works in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria and was a member of the Advisory Council for the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society.
- [ca. 1950s]
Martine J. Reid (nee de Widerspach-Thor) was born in France. After completing her Master’s thesis on the role of salmon on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Kwakwaka'wakw communities, she moved to British Columbia. While studying at the University of British Columbia, she started to learn Kwakwala from Katherine Ferry Adams, who introduced her to the language and culture and adopted her into her family in 1978.
From 1976 to 1978 she attended several potlatches in the area of Alert Bay (BC). There, she came in contact with a number of people from the Kwakwakka’wakw communities and with their culture.
In 1981 she defended her doctoral dissertation about the Kwakwakka’wakw hamaca (Man-Eater) ritual.
In the 1970s, she received funding from the Urgent Ethnology Program of the Museum of Man in Ottawa to record languages and customs to prevent their loss. As part of this project, Dr. Reid came in contact with Agnes Alfred (or Axuw or Axuwaw) with whom she travelled to different Kwakwakka’wakw communities to visit Agnes’ family. As part of these visits, Martine got in contact with Agnes’ granddaughter, Daisy Sewid-Smith.
Between 1979 and 1980 and in 1983 and 1985 Daisy and Martine recorded and translated Agnes’ memoirs. From then until the late 1990s, they put a hold in their project for personal and work-related reasons. In the late 1990s, Daisy and Martine resumed their work, which lead to the publication of Paddling to Where I Stand.
Between 1979 and 1983, Martine worked at the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. There, she lectured in the areas of Anthropology, Ethnography, and First Nations studies. She also participated in several art-related projects in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s. She did some consulting projects for the Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs and for the Native Investment Trade Association.
From 2008 to 2012, she was the Director of Content and Research, and Curator at the Bill Reid Gallery. Then, she became the Honorary Chair of the Bill Reid Foundation.
Chief Mungo Martin or Nakapenkem (lit. Potlatch chief "ten times over"), Datsa (lit. "grandfather"), was an important figure in Northwest Coast style art, specifically that of the Kwakwaka'wakw Aboriginal people who live in the area of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. He was a major contributor to Kwakwaka'wakw art, especially in the realm of wood sculpture and painting. He was also known as a singer and songwriter.
Mungo Martin was an important figure in the early history of the Museum of Anthropology. In 1950 and 1951 he worked for the University of British Columbia restoring and carving totem poles. These later stood in Totem Park at UBC and some were later moved into the great hall in the Museum of Anthropology. After this time he is best known for his work at Thunderbird Park in Victoria, where he helped to carve many of the totem poles and house posts that now stand in the park. He worked with several artists who became well-known including Bill Reid, Doug Cranmer, and Henry Hunt.
- July 4, 1931
Born in Alert Bay of Kwakwaka'wakw descent, Gloria Cranmer Webster completed high school in Victoria before moving to Vancouver where in 1956 she completed her undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. She worked as a counsellor at the Oakalla prison and later at the John Howard society, where she met her future husband, John Webster. She worked for the YWCA as a counsellor in Vancouver, then later as the program director at the Vancouver Indian Centre, before she was hired as an assistant curator by the Museum of Anthropology in 1971. She went on to assist in the development of the U'mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay. She was heavily involved in the debate over repatriation of cultural items related to the potlatch. She received an honorary doctorate of Law from the University of British Columbia in 1995. She was named an officer in the Order of Canada in 2017.
- March 4, 1883 - 1950
Charles Sidney Leary (often referred to as Sid Leary) was born in England and moved overseas in 1907, eventually settling in Nakusp, British Columbia. He began working in the lumber industry and eventually came to own a mill. He served as an officer in the first World War, eventually rising to the rank of Captain. He was posted to Cyprus for timber operations in 1917 and it was there that he began to collect ancient artifacts. On returning to Canada, Leary continued to work in the timber industry. He later served as an MLA in the British Columbia Legislature, including two years as the Minister of Public Works. His collection of antiquities acquired in Cyprus was eventually shipped to Canada. After his death in 1950, his family donated his collection to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.
Tom price was born on Anthony Island. He was known to have been chief of Ninstints. His work was known to have been collected by Dr. C.F. Newcombe and Mr. Lansberg. He often used whale and fish designs and often inlaid bone, ivory, and shell into his work. He died in Prince Rupert at an estimated age of 66. For further information on his life and work please see the Masters' thesis by Trisha Corliss Glatthaar at http://hdl.handle.net/2429/35004
Alfred Wesley was a First Nations artist. His father was Haida and his mother was Haisla. He spent most of his life in Kitimaat. He learned to carve when he travelled with his family to Haida Gwaii in 1890, where he learned from several local artists. He is best known for his model totem poles.
Dr. Ping-ti Ho was born in Tientsin, China, and completed his undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University before moving to the United States and completing his Doctorate at Columbia University in 1952. Although he began studying European history, he eventually shifted to the study of Imperial and ancient China. He began teaching at the University of British Columbia in 1948. He moved to the University of Chicago in 1963. Dr. Ping-ti Ho was one of the foundational members of the department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and along with Dr. Ronald Dore, was instrumental in establishing the collection of asian materials at the University of British Columbia library. He was the first scholar of Asian descent to hold the position of of President of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. He received several honorary doctorates during the course of his career.
- February 1, 1925 - November 14, 2018
Dr. Ronald Dore was a British sociologist who specialized in the economy and society of Japan and the comparative study of types of capitalism. He began studying Japanese in 1942 when he was recruited, along with other sixth form boys, as part of an educational program for training in languages critical to the war effort. He completed his his undergraduate degree and undertook post-graduate studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He taught at the University of British Columbia from 1957 to 1960 before moving on to other institutions. Along with Dr. Ping-ti Ho, Dr. Ronald Dore was instrumental in building the library of Asian materials at the University of British Columbia. Over the course of his career he wrote and published many books and is widely regarded as a influential economic thinker of the 20th and 21st centuries.
- March 22, 1930 - December 5, 2016
Born in Stoke-on-Trent, U.K., Mary (Williamson) Eliot was the wife of Charles William John Eliot, a noteworthy professor of Classics. She is known to have assisted Dr. Eliot in his work.
- December 8, 1928 - May 20, 2008
Born in 1928 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, C.W.J. Eliot was the UBC Department of Classics' first professional archaeologist. He studied Classics at the University of Toronto, eventually seeing his dissertation published in 1962. He also studied at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. He began teaching at UBC in 1957 and stayed on until 1971 when he left for the American School of Classical studies at Athens to become professor of Archaeology there. He later served as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Prince Edward Island.He was a member of the Order of Canada and was posthumously recognized as the founder of the University of Prince Edward Island.
- ca. 1877 -1954
Charles Gladstone was a Haida carver, of Skidegate, B.C. He was Bill Reid's grandfather.