The Respect To Bill Reid Pole
blank Totems in the Snow

Background - Bill Reid - Haida Artist

In the 1950s, Haida artist Bill Reid and Namgis artist Doug Cranmer helped create the Haida House complex in Totem Park, at the University of British Columbia. Now located on the grounds of the Museum of Anthropology, the two houses and six poles (one inside the larger house) depict a portion of a Haida village as it would have looked in the 19th century.

Unfortunately, over time, weathering made the 15 metre (50 foot) frontal pole Reid and Cranmer carved for the larger Haida house too fragile to remain outside. To preserve the pole, it was decided to move it indoors for display in the Great Hall. With assistance from the Canada Council Millennium Arts Fund, the Museum then commissioned acclaimed Haida artist Jim Hart to carve a new pole for the site.

On October 1, 2000, the new pole was raised by hand at a celebration attended by more than 2,500 people. Speeches, songs, and dances were followed by a reception hosted by the Musqueam First Nation (on whose ancestral lands the Museum is built), the Museum, and the Haida people.

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Copyright 2002