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Tait

Series documents Nisga’a artist Norman Tait and his crew of carvers during a period in which they were prolific in their creation of totem poles.

Jensen first met Tait in the early 1970s when she would photographic artists’ works for Bud Mintz, Vancouver gallery owner. In 1985 she had the idea to produce a book documenting the carving of a totem pole from start to finish. She approached Tait, who initially refused but called Jensen back just a few days later to take her up on the offer, after being commissioned to create a pole for the Native Education Centre in Vancouver.

Jensen photographed Tait and his crew, which consisted of his brother Robert (Chip), his cousin Harry Martin (Hammy), his nephew Wayne Young and his eldest son Isaac (Ikey). She also made notes and audio recordings of Tait’s lessons to his crew, most of whom had never worked on such a large project. The photographs and tapes were used in the creation of the book Where the People Gather: Carving a Totem Pole. The project also led to the publication of a children’s version, Carving a Totem Pole and a paperback version titled Totem Pole Carving. The books were published in the early 1990s.

Jensen documented Tait’s next two major commissions: two poles for Capilano Mall in 1986, and a pole for Stanley Park in 1987.

In 1987 Tait adopted Jensen into the Nisga’a Eagle Clan and began to teach her about the responsibilities that came with the honour. The lessons were put into practice in 2001 when Tait asked Vickie to guard the body of a family member that had died.

The series includes photographic records of the creation of the four poles; audio recordings of lessons and interviews with Tait; transcripts of the audio tapes; and notes. The series consists of five sub-series:

A. Native Education Centre (NEC) pole photographs
B. Capilano Mall and Stanley Park poles photographs
C. Misc. photographs
D. Tait family and crew artists’ photographs
E. Audio tapes and transcripts.

Stan Bevan and Ken McNeil

File contains images of newly carved totem poles by Stan Bevan along with accompanying correspondence regarding the poles and biography for both Stan Bevan and Ken McNeil.

Tsimshian

File contains images of Tsimshian artifacts housed in museums in British Columbia and in what is now known as the Canadian Museum of History. The file also contains images of Tsimshian villages along the Nass River, and historical photos of Tsimshian peoples.

Kwakwaka'wakw

File contains a combination of images of Kwakwaka'wakw artifacts housed in various museums and images of historical Kwakwaka'wakw villages on Vancouver Island and along the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. Artifacts include totem poles, bentwood boxes, carvings, masks, and Kwakwaka'wakw artwork such as paintings and drawings. There are historical photographs of the following villages: Gwat'sinuxw (Quatsino), Kwikwasutinuxw (Gilford Island), A'wa'etlala Village (Knight's Inlet), Mamalikala (Village Island), Wiwekalu Village of T'la'mataxw (Campbell River), Kwixa Village (Salmon River), Dunaxda'xw Village (New Vancouver), and Gwa'sala Village (Smith Inlet). The textual records include information about some of the photographs, identifying items such as the people, the villages, and/or the artifacts depicted in the photographs.

Nuu-chah-nulth

File contains historical images of Nuu-chah-nulth villages and peoples. There is a focus on totem poles and canoes. There are also photographs of a pole raising ceremony to commemorate the visit of Governor General Willingdon who came to Tofino/Ucluelet in the 1920s. There are images of James Rush, Chief Miste Laabats Hamtsiid, and Chief Joseph John, dressed in Nuu-chah-nulth regalia.

Respect to Bill Reid pole website

File contains the digital media used to create the virtual museum website for the Respect to Bill Reid Pole in both English and French. These include html pages, audio and video files, images, the electronic invitation to the event, logos and text files, css style sheets, and javascript code.

3D cards

This file contains images of totem poles collected for research. Some images are from the collections of other institutions.

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