28 Oct Creating the Reconciliation Pole
The Reconciliation Pole
Several Haida Nation artists led by James Hart carve The Reconciliation Pole on the grounds of the Museum of Athropology. The University of British Columbia has partnered with a private donor to commission the carving of a 55-foot pole by 7idansuu, James Hart, Haida master carver and Hereditary Chief to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools in Canada, hence its name.
“This pole is carved in the Haida sculptural tradition, which is stylistically distinct from other coastal First Nations sculptural styles, and especially those of the Musqueam and other Coast Salish people. The Musqueam are noted for their carved house posts, free-standing figures and implements such as spindle whorls. For the Haida people today, carving and publicly raising new totem poles is a way of honouring their history and ongoing cultural practices. Rather than exclusively representing Haida lineage crests and traditional narratives, however, Reconciliation Pole represents all First Nations who share the experiences that the story of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools tells.
“Born in 1952 into the Eagle Clan at Old Massett, Haida Gwaii, Haida master carver and Hereditary Chief 7idansuu, James Hart, has been carving since 1979. In addition to his monumental sculptures and totem poles, he is a skilled jeweller and printmaker and is considered a leader among Haida artists in the use of bronze casting.” (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery)