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Ravens and Eagles

The world of Haida art from the Haida perspective presents five central themes--form-line, ceremony, function, preservation, songs and language. The deep cultural connection Haida have to their art is a reminder that there is more than beauty to be found in the execution of artistic excellence.

  • Naxine Weaver
    Monday, July 23
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Descended from a long line of renowned weavers and artists, Evelyn Vanderhoop continues the tradition of making the Naxine robe, also known as Chilkat blankets. These highly esteemed robes are made by wrapping thin strips of cedar bark in mountain goat's wool into one textile. It takes many years to complete these intricate weaves. For the noble classes, these robes were not just adornments; they were a status symbol, showing the world your family crests and importance. Evelyn is one in a family of weavers, with sisters April and Holly Churchill themselves accomplished artists. They all learned from their mother, Delores Churchill.
  • From Hand to Hand Part 1
    Wednesday, July 25
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Probably the most significant Haida artist to have ever walked the earth, Charles Edenshaw produced the largest body of artistic work in the history of the Haida Nation, and this work was instrumental in preserving their ancient style of art at a time when the very survival of the people was at stake. A survivor of the epidemics that plagued indigenous people across the continent, Edenshaw , his tools, and his creations all represent a story of an important chapter in art hstory. In this powerful and moving documentary, his descendants Robert Davidson, Carmen Goertzen and the soft spoken Christian White, all acclaimed artists in their own right, share the stories that their elders have passed on to them about this prodigious and industrious ancestor. Representatives from the University of British Columbia's Department of Anthropology and art historians from the Burke Museum in Seattle add to this narrative with information gleaned from their archives.
  • From Hand to Hand Part 2
    Friday, July 27
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Probably the most significant Haida artist to have ever walked the earth, Charles Edenshaw produced the largest body of artistic work in the history of the Haida Nation, and this work was instrumental in preserving their ancient style of art at a time when the very survival of the people was at stake. A survivor of the epidemics that plagued indigenous people across the continent, Edenshaw , his tools, and his creations all represent a story of an important chapter in art hstory. In this powerful and moving documentary, his descendants Robert Davidson, Carmen Goertzen and the soft spoken Christian White, all acclaimed artists in their own right, share the stories that their elders have passed on to them about this prodigious and industrious ancestor. Representatives from the University of British Columbia's Department of Anthropology and art historians from the Burke Museum in Seattle add to this narrative with information gleaned from their archives
  • The New Collectors - Pepatriation Part 1
    Monday, July 30
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    More than a century of grave robbing and exploitation led to the creation of modern Museums. Collectors, many by unscrupulous means, amassed vast quantities of west coast Potlach regalia and west coast masterpieces. The collectors took everything from the graves, human remains and the art they were buried with. Over two dozen representatives from the Haida Nation traveled to New York city in 2002 to obtain the remains of their ancestors from the American Museum of Natural History. This was made possible after nearly ten years of negotiation between the Museum staff and the Haida people. Once it was identified that the Museum had human remains an agreement was made to have them returned. A law was created in the United States, The Native American Grave Protection Repatriation Act which helps reverse the notorious acts of collectors.
  • The New Collectors - Repatriation Part 2
    Wednesday, August 1
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In the United Kingdom, the question of repatriation is a non-starter. Two members of the Haida repatriation committee, Vince and Nika Collison, made a visit to the British Museum in London, England to start a dialogue regarding the repatriation of Haida artifacts from the museum's collection. Uninterested in this agenda, the bureaucrats hide behind the policy of the museum and the laws passed to protect the collection from this very action. Seemingly affable, they are wary of even allowing the Haida access to the pieces, but for Nika and Vince this is par for the course. They exhibit unequivocal tolerance and unconditional discretion the likes of which would make their regal ancestors proud. They bring nothing back with them but photographs and memories of the treasures held there.
  • Athlii Gwaii: The Line at Lyell Part 1
    Friday, August 3
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In autumn 1985, a group of Haida elders travelled by helicopter to a remote island to engage in one of the first direct action efforts of first nations across the land. Conflicting interests that pit first nations against industrial development reached a boiling point. The Haida Elders created a line between the ancient rainforests and old growth cedar and spruce and the forestry companies that held timber licenses. Four Elders stood on the line at Lyell. Our exclusive footage from that time features touching interviews with elders; Ada Yovanovich and Adolphus Marks. Contemporary interviews were conducted with the Elders Ethel Jones and Watson Pryce in 2002. They shared their memories of that trying time. Sadly all four Elders have passed on but their act of selfless devotion to their beloved Haida Gwaii should be an inspiration to us all.
  • Athlii Gwaii: The Line at Lyell Part 2
    Monday, August 6
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In autumn 1985, a group of Haida elders travelled by helicopter to a remote island to engage in one of the first direct action efforts of first nations across the land. Conflicting interests that pit first nations against industrial development reached a boiling point. The Haida Elders created a line between the ancient rainforests and old growth cedar and spruce and the forestry companies that held timber licenses. Four Elders stood on the line at Lyell. Our exclusive footage from that time features touching interviews with elders; Ada Yovanovich and Adolphus Marks. Contemporary interviews were conducted with the Elders Ethel Jones and Watson Pryce in 2002. They shared their memories of that trying time. Sadly all four Elders have passed on but their act of selfless devotion to their beloved Haida Gwaii should be an inspiration to us all.
  • Giiahl Galang Stories
    Wednesday, August 8
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Before contact with Europeans, the Haida language was diverse with as many dialects as there were villages dotting the archipelago. There are people who fear that this language is threatened by the globalization agenda of the modern world, and that with the loss of this language humanity will also lose a unique way of experiencing and celebrating life. Coordinator for the Skidegate Haida Immersion program, Diane Brown identifies the lack of interest in the children as the greatest obstacle facing her program; in spite of the fact that they have the unique prospect of learning the language from fluent elders. At the elementary school level teachers attempt to deter this diminishing interest in the language, by devising their curricula in the Haida language, and maintain it with the elders who shore up these endeavors through songs and stories. We visit the Haida Immersion program for a day and witness what fun the Elders have in helping to develop the curriculum. We also get a sense of the bleak outlook of a dying language.
  • Defining Haida Art
    Friday, August 10
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    The final episode in this documentary series explores the ways in which the foundation of Haida art was compromised after the period of historical contact with Europeans. An impressive assemblage of Haida artists discuss how important it is for the Haida to recover from the dictates of Church and State. They underline and exemplify the importance of the land as a source of inspiration and indeed the very substance that embodies their art. The art, language, spirituality, and the land are what constitute Haida culture, for they are all connected as one being inexplicably intertwined. This is the concluding chapter in our comprehensive and thematic approach to Haida art. By anyone's definition art can have a variety of meanings. It is personal and rooted in what we see in the world around us. The art survives and is currently seeing its own growth spurt. As contemporary Master Robert Davidson notes, 'In my time I have seen our singing groups grow from one to many. I have seen the masks go from a brown paper bag to be of monumental stature and commanding top prices in galleries'. Inside of three generations Haida art has risen from near death to become a vibrant aspect of aboriginal identity. Our series, Ravens and Eagles pays homage to this renaissance.
  • What Is Haida Art?
    Monday, August 13
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    This introduction to the world of Haida art from the Haida perspective presents five central themes--form-line, ceremony, function, preservation, songs and language. The deep cultural connection Haida have to their art is a reminder that there is more than beauty to be found in the execution of artistic excellence. This opening episode demonstrates that the art has a place in modern Haida societym and that the entire history of the Nation is brought to the present and into the future through proper use. The artists and themes that are featured here are thoroghly explored in the rest of this series.
  • Spruce Root Weaver
    Wednesday, August 15
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Isabel Rorick is a spruce root weaver from Massett who weaves some of the most intricate and beautiful hats and baskets in the world. She gathers her materials in the playground of her youth, North Beach on Haida Gwaii. This portrait in the first person brings us to Hornby Island, where we visit Isabel in her studio. She comes from a long line of artists including Florence Edenshaw Davidson and Selina Peratrovich and legendary weaver Isabella Edenshaw. Learning to weave at a young age, she has improved her weaving through practice and studying pieces in museums and has developed her signature pattern of three concentric circles, for her three sons.
  • Cedar Bark Weaver
    Friday, August 17
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Victoria Moody is a cedar bark weaver from Skidegate who educates people on the value and importance of cedar. She creates a new style of art that combines her political views with bold designs. She came to weaving as a teenager and has successfully integrated Haida stories into her art. Her Transition robe is a gleaming example of her innovative style, in which she incorporates wool into the traditional cedar weave. Her method of harvesting cedar reflects her desire to preserve this tradition for future generations -- she only takes a small section of the bark so as not to damage the tree.
  • Argillite Carver
    Monday, August 20
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Christian White carves intricately designed and elaborately executed traditional Haida stories in argillite, a black slate found only on Haida Gwaii. He is a direct descendant of Charles Edenshaw, and his father Morris White taught him how to express his culture through his creative gifts. In this episode, White works alongside his apprentices in his studio in Massett, Haida Gwaii. While he works on a frontlet for a head-dress we witness his passion for the art and the secret knowledge of the ancestors as it is borne through the hands of this quiet, understated modern master
  • Carrying on the Tradition
    Wednesday, August 22
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In this episode, we visit with two Haida artists, Gladys Vandal and April Churchhill. These two weavers are carrying on the traditions of weaving cedar bark and spruce root. Gladys demonstrates this ancient weaving technique in the comfort of her own kitchen, and shows us her mastery which has grown out of the very tree that provides her materials. April is the eldest daughter of the acclaimed teacher Delores Churchill, and she shares the importance of why this tradition needs to be protected.
  • The New Masters
    Friday, August 24
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Young Haida carvers have inherited the extraordinary task of creating works that rival the materpieces of their ancestors, and like their weaving counterparts, they are more than prepared for that challenge. Featured here are three of the pre-eminent carvers from Haida Gwaii, who continue to create in the wake of their late Master Bill Reid. Working out of the same carving shed, erected by Haida elders decaded ago, are Tim Boyko and Garner Moody. They talk about their roles in the Haida heritage project that brought to life six poles. Clayton Gladstone shares his insights on the traditional and contemporary movement in Haida art while working alone in his studio.
  • Portrait of a Mask Maker
    Monday, August 27
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    At the pinnacle of his class is enigmatic Reg Davidson, a maker of extremely sophisticated and at times frightening masks. One of the most prolific contemporary Haida carvers; he has a remarkable body of work and enjoys the demand for various masks, but his humble nature prevents him from considering himself an artist or a master- more of a student in the process of bringing the art back to the level of what it once was. He collaborates with his brother, Robert to interpret traditional Haida stories and characters, and translates the synthesis of their imaginations into the various songs, dances and regalia of his live performance group. His sense of humor and distinctive persona inform this troupe's cultural performances.
  • Journey of Song
    Wednesday, August 29
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    The Haida language is poised to join Latin as a dead language; however the same way Latin has science to maintain its relevance Haida language has song as its savior. Relearning the ancestral songs once sung by her grandmother is Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson. This rediscovery of art, history and lineage places her in the company of her ancestors and allows her to survey their legacy. Two other such students are Nika Collison and Irene Mills, who also prope the songs and dances to tease out their cultural importance. They underline the meaning of the heraldic crests on regalia and the songs and narratives that connect them.
  • Chiefly Possesions
    Friday, August 31
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Throughout human history collecting art has been synonymous with the accumulation of wealth. In the early 20th century, the parliament of Canada outlawed the potlatch, and in doing so interrupted a system of life that involved the redistribution of wealth by chiefs, and the art and artifacts that supported this system. Today those laws have been repealed and the proof of that is evidenced by the 1998 potlatch of 7 Idansuu, known as Jim inherited many other possessions including heraldic crests with which to adorn his home and regalia. He recalls the event two years later and offers a glimpse of the tradition during a visit to his ancestral home in Kiusta.
  • To Pay Respect
    Monday, September 3
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In this episode, the Haida prepare themselves and the remains of seven ancestors for a burial with a traditional burning ceremony. Old village sites were stripped of their treasures by overzealous grave robbers and ignorant anthropologists, and today those cultural icons can be found in the storerooms and showcases of museums. One thing that is hardly, if ever mentioned, is the fact that along with the everyday items such as boxes, spoons and bowls that were stolen; so too were the remains of those who had been passed on. The process of repatriation has begun, and the first things to be brought home are the remains of ancestors who spent decades locked away in vaults. Initially, there was resistance to this process, and negotiators have worked diligently to broker arrangements with Canadian museums that will bring these remains home.
  • Eagle of the Dawn
    Wednesday, September 5
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Arguably the most important figure in the world of contemporary Haida art, Robert Davidson stands alone on the world stage for his prodigious output of perfection, Robert developed an innovative approach to Haida art and set high cultural standards while he transformed himself from student to master in various media. He began practicing the songs and dances of his ancestors after raising the first totem pole in Haida Gwaii after decadeds of colonial control and prohibition of traditional Haida cultural activites. This action was made possible through the influence of his grandmother, Florence Edenshaw Davidson, the daughter of the 20th century master carver, Charles Edenshaw.
  • Eagle of the Dawn Part 2
    Friday, September 7
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Arguably the most important figure in the world of contemporary Haida art, Robert Davidson stands alone on the world stage for his prodigious output of perfection, Robert developed an innovative approach to Haida art and set high cultural standards while he transformed himself from student to master in various media. He began practicing the songs and dances of his ancestors after raising the first totem pole in Haida Gwaii after decadeds of colonial control and prohibition of traditional Haida cultural activites. This action was made possible through the influence of his grandmother, Florence Edenshaw Davidson, the daughter of the 20th century master carver, Charles Edenshaw.
  • Paradox of Attribution
    Monday, September 10
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    By the time the first Europeans visited Haida Gwaii the artistic expression and execution had reached its apex. Almost all of the items used in daily life were adorned with the heraldic crests displaying family lineage and association. Christian missionaries claimed that this was idolatry, the work of the devil and persuaded the parliament to outlaw this practice. At the same time, modern anthropology was in its infancy and it was on the Northwest Coast that it finally found a purpose, collecting by any means necessary the art and artifacts of the people. A member of the Eagle clan Director Marianne Jones poses the question from her perspective while she leads a tour of the old village sites and revists many of the ancient masterpieces in this episode.
  • Stone Carver
    Wednesday, September 12
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Skidegate argillite master carvers Albert and Rufus Moody inspired Alfie Collinson's interest in art. Carving argillite, a black slate found only in Haida Gwaii, Alfie is known among his peers to be one of the most gifted contemporary carvers. We follow Alfie on a day-long trip to the distant Slate-chuck Mountain, a trip he takes once a year for his materials; we learn that the slabs of stone while very heavy are also fragile. The journey requires strength and determination, much like Alfie's story; from part-time carver to full-time artist who carves stories out of stone.
  • On The Trail of Property Woman
    Friday, September 14
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Freda Deising was a passionate and innovative woman artist and a carver of monumental art. Her talents ignited a flame of passion that has inspired others to follow in her footsteps. Among her students is Dempsey Bob. She became a teacher of the art and today many artists attribute their success to her patient and exacting ways. Doing things a little differently, she has been known to flip the script on her form-lines making the primary lines red and the secondary lines black, and even carving in alder-wood rather than cedar. She was important in teaching the value of the culture and story/history of the Haida. Her passing in 2002 left an artistic legacy as a generous and gifted artist.
  • In Our Blood
    Monday, September 17
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    It is not that uncommon to find more than one artist in a family in Haida Gwaii. Art is Haida society is common, often there are weavers, carvers, and designers. Sometimes there are all three. In this episode we meet a family of Haida artists, Eric Olsen, Geoff Greene and Tony Greene, who are all at different crossroads in their lives. Eric draws his inspiration from his brothers. Geoff attends the Emily Carr Institute of Art in Vancouver, BC and intends to teach when he finishes school. Tony is a carver of wood and metal, and specializes in paintings and pencil designs. Tony's partner Sylvia is a weaver. They all derive inspiration from a mother, Roberta Olson, who is herself an accomplished artist.
  • Haida Art
    Wednesday, September 19
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    When most people think about northwest coast art, the first images that come to mind is jewelry. Indeed the art market in British Columbia can be found in the trade and sales of Haida Jewelry. Frank Paulsen and Carmen Goertzen; two contemporary Haida jewelers who specialize in gold, silver and argillite practice their trade for the freedom and independence that comes along with being artists. They both discuss the extremely competitive nature of the marketplace and the need to maintain a presence in the galleries and private collections of large urban centers. A palpable tension is created in the process of attempting to design and execute pieces beyond what has already been done before.
  • Naxine Weaver
    Friday, September 21
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Descended from a long line of renowned weavers and artists, Evelyn Vanderhoop continues the tradition of making the Naxine robe, also known as Chilkat blankets. These highly esteemed robes are made by wrapping thin strips of cedar bark in mountain goat's wool into one textile. It takes many years to complete these intricate weaves. For the noble classes, these robes were not just adornments; they were a status symbol, showing the world your family crests and importance. Evelyn is one in a family of weavers, with sisters April and Holly Churchill themselves accomplished artists. They all learned from their mother, Delores Churchill.
  • From Hand to Hand Part 1
    Monday, September 24
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Probably the most significant Haida artist to have ever walked the earth, Charles Edenshaw produced the largest body of artistic work in the history of the Haida Nation, and this work was instrumental in preserving their ancient style of art at a time when the very survival of the people was at stake. A survivor of the epidemics that plagued indigenous people across the continent, Edenshaw , his tools, and his creations all represent a story of an important chapter in art hstory. In this powerful and moving documentary, his descendants Robert Davidson, Carmen Goertzen and the soft spoken Christian White, all acclaimed artists in their own right, share the stories that their elders have passed on to them about this prodigious and industrious ancestor. Representatives from the University of British Columbia's Department of Anthropology and art historians from the Burke Museum in Seattle add to this narrative with information gleaned from their archives.
  • From Hand to Hand Part 2
    Wednesday, September 26
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Probably the most significant Haida artist to have ever walked the earth, Charles Edenshaw produced the largest body of artistic work in the history of the Haida Nation, and this work was instrumental in preserving their ancient style of art at a time when the very survival of the people was at stake. A survivor of the epidemics that plagued indigenous people across the continent, Edenshaw , his tools, and his creations all represent a story of an important chapter in art hstory. In this powerful and moving documentary, his descendants Robert Davidson, Carmen Goertzen and the soft spoken Christian White, all acclaimed artists in their own right, share the stories that their elders have passed on to them about this prodigious and industrious ancestor. Representatives from the University of British Columbia's Department of Anthropology and art historians from the Burke Museum in Seattle add to this narrative with information gleaned from their archives
  • The New Collectors - Pepatriation Part 1
    Friday, September 28
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    More than a century of grave robbing and exploitation led to the creation of modern Museums. Collectors, many by unscrupulous means, amassed vast quantities of west coast Potlach regalia and west coast masterpieces. The collectors took everything from the graves, human remains and the art they were buried with. Over two dozen representatives from the Haida Nation traveled to New York city in 2002 to obtain the remains of their ancestors from the American Museum of Natural History. This was made possible after nearly ten years of negotiation between the Museum staff and the Haida people. Once it was identified that the Museum had human remains an agreement was made to have them returned. A law was created in the United States, The Native American Grave Protection Repatriation Act which helps reverse the notorious acts of collectors.
  • The New Collectors - Repatriation Part 2
    Monday, October 1
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In the United Kingdom, the question of repatriation is a non-starter. Two members of the Haida repatriation committee, Vince and Nika Collison, made a visit to the British Museum in London, England to start a dialogue regarding the repatriation of Haida artifacts from the museum's collection. Uninterested in this agenda, the bureaucrats hide behind the policy of the museum and the laws passed to protect the collection from this very action. Seemingly affable, they are wary of even allowing the Haida access to the pieces, but for Nika and Vince this is par for the course. They exhibit unequivocal tolerance and unconditional discretion the likes of which would make their regal ancestors proud. They bring nothing back with them but photographs and memories of the treasures held there.
  • Athlii Gwaii: The Line at Lyell Part 1
    Wednesday, October 3
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In autumn 1985, a group of Haida elders travelled by helicopter to a remote island to engage in one of the first direct action efforts of first nations across the land. Conflicting interests that pit first nations against industrial development reached a boiling point. The Haida Elders created a line between the ancient rainforests and old growth cedar and spruce and the forestry companies that held timber licenses. Four Elders stood on the line at Lyell. Our exclusive footage from that time features touching interviews with elders; Ada Yovanovich and Adolphus Marks. Contemporary interviews were conducted with the Elders Ethel Jones and Watson Pryce in 2002. They shared their memories of that trying time. Sadly all four Elders have passed on but their act of selfless devotion to their beloved Haida Gwaii should be an inspiration to us all.
  • Athlii Gwaii: The Line at Lyell Part 2
    Friday, October 5
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In autumn 1985, a group of Haida elders travelled by helicopter to a remote island to engage in one of the first direct action efforts of first nations across the land. Conflicting interests that pit first nations against industrial development reached a boiling point. The Haida Elders created a line between the ancient rainforests and old growth cedar and spruce and the forestry companies that held timber licenses. Four Elders stood on the line at Lyell. Our exclusive footage from that time features touching interviews with elders; Ada Yovanovich and Adolphus Marks. Contemporary interviews were conducted with the Elders Ethel Jones and Watson Pryce in 2002. They shared their memories of that trying time. Sadly all four Elders have passed on but their act of selfless devotion to their beloved Haida Gwaii should be an inspiration to us all.

 

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  • Haida Art
    Friday, July 20
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    When most people think about northwest coast art, the first images that come to mind is jewelry. Indeed the art market in British Columbia can be found in the trade and sales of Haida Jewelry. Frank Paulsen and Carmen Goertzen; two contemporary Haida jewelers who specialize in gold, silver and argillite practice their trade for the freedom and independence that comes along with being artists. They both discuss the extremely competitive nature of the marketplace and the need to maintain a presence in the galleries and private collections of large urban centers. A palpable tension is created in the process of attempting to design and execute pieces beyond what has already been done before.
  • In Our Blood
    Wednesday, July 18
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    It is not that uncommon to find more than one artist in a family in Haida Gwaii. Art is Haida society is common, often there are weavers, carvers, and designers. Sometimes there are all three. In this episode we meet a family of Haida artists, Eric Olsen, Geoff Greene and Tony Greene, who are all at different crossroads in their lives. Eric draws his inspiration from his brothers. Geoff attends the Emily Carr Institute of Art in Vancouver, BC and intends to teach when he finishes school. Tony is a carver of wood and metal, and specializes in paintings and pencil designs. Tony's partner Sylvia is a weaver. They all derive inspiration from a mother, Roberta Olson, who is herself an accomplished artist.
  • On The Trail of Property Woman
    Monday, July 16
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Freda Deising was a passionate and innovative woman artist and a carver of monumental art. Her talents ignited a flame of passion that has inspired others to follow in her footsteps. Among her students is Dempsey Bob. She became a teacher of the art and today many artists attribute their success to her patient and exacting ways. Doing things a little differently, she has been known to flip the script on her form-lines making the primary lines red and the secondary lines black, and even carving in alder-wood rather than cedar. She was important in teaching the value of the culture and story/history of the Haida. Her passing in 2002 left an artistic legacy as a generous and gifted artist.
  • Stone Carver
    Friday, July 13
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Skidegate argillite master carvers Albert and Rufus Moody inspired Alfie Collinson's interest in art. Carving argillite, a black slate found only in Haida Gwaii, Alfie is known among his peers to be one of the most gifted contemporary carvers. We follow Alfie on a day-long trip to the distant Slate-chuck Mountain, a trip he takes once a year for his materials; we learn that the slabs of stone while very heavy are also fragile. The journey requires strength and determination, much like Alfie's story; from part-time carver to full-time artist who carves stories out of stone.
  • Paradox of Attribution
    Wednesday, July 11
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    By the time the first Europeans visited Haida Gwaii the artistic expression and execution had reached its apex. Almost all of the items used in daily life were adorned with the heraldic crests displaying family lineage and association. Christian missionaries claimed that this was idolatry, the work of the devil and persuaded the parliament to outlaw this practice. At the same time, modern anthropology was in its infancy and it was on the Northwest Coast that it finally found a purpose, collecting by any means necessary the art and artifacts of the people. A member of the Eagle clan Director Marianne Jones poses the question from her perspective while she leads a tour of the old village sites and revists many of the ancient masterpieces in this episode.
  • Eagle of the Dawn Part 2
    Monday, July 9
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Arguably the most important figure in the world of contemporary Haida art, Robert Davidson stands alone on the world stage for his prodigious output of perfection, Robert developed an innovative approach to Haida art and set high cultural standards while he transformed himself from student to master in various media. He began practicing the songs and dances of his ancestors after raising the first totem pole in Haida Gwaii after decadeds of colonial control and prohibition of traditional Haida cultural activites. This action was made possible through the influence of his grandmother, Florence Edenshaw Davidson, the daughter of the 20th century master carver, Charles Edenshaw.
  • Eagle of the Dawn
    Friday, July 6
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Arguably the most important figure in the world of contemporary Haida art, Robert Davidson stands alone on the world stage for his prodigious output of perfection, Robert developed an innovative approach to Haida art and set high cultural standards while he transformed himself from student to master in various media. He began practicing the songs and dances of his ancestors after raising the first totem pole in Haida Gwaii after decadeds of colonial control and prohibition of traditional Haida cultural activites. This action was made possible through the influence of his grandmother, Florence Edenshaw Davidson, the daughter of the 20th century master carver, Charles Edenshaw.
  • To Pay Respect
    Wednesday, July 4
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In this episode, the Haida prepare themselves and the remains of seven ancestors for a burial with a traditional burning ceremony. Old village sites were stripped of their treasures by overzealous grave robbers and ignorant anthropologists, and today those cultural icons can be found in the storerooms and showcases of museums. One thing that is hardly, if ever mentioned, is the fact that along with the everyday items such as boxes, spoons and bowls that were stolen; so too were the remains of those who had been passed on. The process of repatriation has begun, and the first things to be brought home are the remains of ancestors who spent decades locked away in vaults. Initially, there was resistance to this process, and negotiators have worked diligently to broker arrangements with Canadian museums that will bring these remains home.
  • Chiefly Possesions
    Monday, July 2
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Throughout human history collecting art has been synonymous with the accumulation of wealth. In the early 20th century, the parliament of Canada outlawed the potlatch, and in doing so interrupted a system of life that involved the redistribution of wealth by chiefs, and the art and artifacts that supported this system. Today those laws have been repealed and the proof of that is evidenced by the 1998 potlatch of 7 Idansuu, known as Jim inherited many other possessions including heraldic crests with which to adorn his home and regalia. He recalls the event two years later and offers a glimpse of the tradition during a visit to his ancestral home in Kiusta.
  • Journey of Song
    Friday, June 29
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    The Haida language is poised to join Latin as a dead language; however the same way Latin has science to maintain its relevance Haida language has song as its savior. Relearning the ancestral songs once sung by her grandmother is Terri-Lynn Williams Davidson. This rediscovery of art, history and lineage places her in the company of her ancestors and allows her to survey their legacy. Two other such students are Nika Collison and Irene Mills, who also prope the songs and dances to tease out their cultural importance. They underline the meaning of the heraldic crests on regalia and the songs and narratives that connect them.
  • Portrait of a Mask Maker
    Wednesday, June 27
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    At the pinnacle of his class is enigmatic Reg Davidson, a maker of extremely sophisticated and at times frightening masks. One of the most prolific contemporary Haida carvers; he has a remarkable body of work and enjoys the demand for various masks, but his humble nature prevents him from considering himself an artist or a master- more of a student in the process of bringing the art back to the level of what it once was. He collaborates with his brother, Robert to interpret traditional Haida stories and characters, and translates the synthesis of their imaginations into the various songs, dances and regalia of his live performance group. His sense of humor and distinctive persona inform this troupe's cultural performances.
  • The New Masters
    Monday, June 25
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Young Haida carvers have inherited the extraordinary task of creating works that rival the materpieces of their ancestors, and like their weaving counterparts, they are more than prepared for that challenge. Featured here are three of the pre-eminent carvers from Haida Gwaii, who continue to create in the wake of their late Master Bill Reid. Working out of the same carving shed, erected by Haida elders decaded ago, are Tim Boyko and Garner Moody. They talk about their roles in the Haida heritage project that brought to life six poles. Clayton Gladstone shares his insights on the traditional and contemporary movement in Haida art while working alone in his studio.
  • Carrying on the Tradition
    Friday, June 22
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In this episode, we visit with two Haida artists, Gladys Vandal and April Churchhill. These two weavers are carrying on the traditions of weaving cedar bark and spruce root. Gladys demonstrates this ancient weaving technique in the comfort of her own kitchen, and shows us her mastery which has grown out of the very tree that provides her materials. April is the eldest daughter of the acclaimed teacher Delores Churchill, and she shares the importance of why this tradition needs to be protected.
  • Argillite Carver
    Wednesday, June 20
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Christian White carves intricately designed and elaborately executed traditional Haida stories in argillite, a black slate found only on Haida Gwaii. He is a direct descendant of Charles Edenshaw, and his father Morris White taught him how to express his culture through his creative gifts. In this episode, White works alongside his apprentices in his studio in Massett, Haida Gwaii. While he works on a frontlet for a head-dress we witness his passion for the art and the secret knowledge of the ancestors as it is borne through the hands of this quiet, understated modern master
  • Cedar Bark Weaver
    Monday, June 18
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Victoria Moody is a cedar bark weaver from Skidegate who educates people on the value and importance of cedar. She creates a new style of art that combines her political views with bold designs. She came to weaving as a teenager and has successfully integrated Haida stories into her art. Her Transition robe is a gleaming example of her innovative style, in which she incorporates wool into the traditional cedar weave. Her method of harvesting cedar reflects her desire to preserve this tradition for future generations -- she only takes a small section of the bark so as not to damage the tree.
  • Spruce Root Weaver
    Friday, June 15
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Isabel Rorick is a spruce root weaver from Massett who weaves some of the most intricate and beautiful hats and baskets in the world. She gathers her materials in the playground of her youth, North Beach on Haida Gwaii. This portrait in the first person brings us to Hornby Island, where we visit Isabel in her studio. She comes from a long line of artists including Florence Edenshaw Davidson and Selina Peratrovich and legendary weaver Isabella Edenshaw. Learning to weave at a young age, she has improved her weaving through practice and studying pieces in museums and has developed her signature pattern of three concentric circles, for her three sons.
  • What Is Haida Art?
    Wednesday, June 13
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    This introduction to the world of Haida art from the Haida perspective presents five central themes--form-line, ceremony, function, preservation, songs and language. The deep cultural connection Haida have to their art is a reminder that there is more than beauty to be found in the execution of artistic excellence. This opening episode demonstrates that the art has a place in modern Haida societym and that the entire history of the Nation is brought to the present and into the future through proper use. The artists and themes that are featured here are thoroghly explored in the rest of this series.
  • Defining Haida Art
    Monday, June 11
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    The final episode in this documentary series explores the ways in which the foundation of Haida art was compromised after the period of historical contact with Europeans. An impressive assemblage of Haida artists discuss how important it is for the Haida to recover from the dictates of Church and State. They underline and exemplify the importance of the land as a source of inspiration and indeed the very substance that embodies their art. The art, language, spirituality, and the land are what constitute Haida culture, for they are all connected as one being inexplicably intertwined. This is the concluding chapter in our comprehensive and thematic approach to Haida art. By anyone's definition art can have a variety of meanings. It is personal and rooted in what we see in the world around us. The art survives and is currently seeing its own growth spurt. As contemporary Master Robert Davidson notes, 'In my time I have seen our singing groups grow from one to many. I have seen the masks go from a brown paper bag to be of monumental stature and commanding top prices in galleries'. Inside of three generations Haida art has risen from near death to become a vibrant aspect of aboriginal identity. Our series, Ravens and Eagles pays homage to this renaissance.
  • Giiahl Galang Stories
    Friday, June 8
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    Before contact with Europeans, the Haida language was diverse with as many dialects as there were villages dotting the archipelago. There are people who fear that this language is threatened by the globalization agenda of the modern world, and that with the loss of this language humanity will also lose a unique way of experiencing and celebrating life. Coordinator for the Skidegate Haida Immersion program, Diane Brown identifies the lack of interest in the children as the greatest obstacle facing her program; in spite of the fact that they have the unique prospect of learning the language from fluent elders. At the elementary school level teachers attempt to deter this diminishing interest in the language, by devising their curricula in the Haida language, and maintain it with the elders who shore up these endeavors through songs and stories. We visit the Haida Immersion program for a day and witness what fun the Elders have in helping to develop the curriculum. We also get a sense of the bleak outlook of a dying language.
  • Athlii Gwaii: The Line at Lyell Part 2
    Wednesday, June 6
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In autumn 1985, a group of Haida elders travelled by helicopter to a remote island to engage in one of the first direct action efforts of first nations across the land. Conflicting interests that pit first nations against industrial development reached a boiling point. The Haida Elders created a line between the ancient rainforests and old growth cedar and spruce and the forestry companies that held timber licenses. Four Elders stood on the line at Lyell. Our exclusive footage from that time features touching interviews with elders; Ada Yovanovich and Adolphus Marks. Contemporary interviews were conducted with the Elders Ethel Jones and Watson Pryce in 2002. They shared their memories of that trying time. Sadly all four Elders have passed on but their act of selfless devotion to their beloved Haida Gwaii should be an inspiration to us all.
  • Athlii Gwaii: The Line at Lyell Part 1
    Monday, June 4
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In autumn 1985, a group of Haida elders travelled by helicopter to a remote island to engage in one of the first direct action efforts of first nations across the land. Conflicting interests that pit first nations against industrial development reached a boiling point. The Haida Elders created a line between the ancient rainforests and old growth cedar and spruce and the forestry companies that held timber licenses. Four Elders stood on the line at Lyell. Our exclusive footage from that time features touching interviews with elders; Ada Yovanovich and Adolphus Marks. Contemporary interviews were conducted with the Elders Ethel Jones and Watson Pryce in 2002. They shared their memories of that trying time. Sadly all four Elders have passed on but their act of selfless devotion to their beloved Haida Gwaii should be an inspiration to us all.
  • The New Collectors - Repatriation Part 2
    Friday, June 1
    2:00 pm on FNX 9.3
    In the United Kingdom, the question of repatriation is a non-starter. Two members of the Haida repatriation committee, Vince and Nika Collison, made a visit to the British Museum in London, England to start a dialogue regarding the repatriation of Haida artifacts from the museum's collection. Uninterested in this agenda, the bureaucrats hide behind the policy of the museum and the laws passed to protect the collection from this very action. Seemingly affable, they are wary of even allowing the Haida access to the pieces, but for Nika and Vince this is par for the course. They exhibit unequivocal tolerance and unconditional discretion the likes of which would make their regal ancestors proud. They bring nothing back with them but photographs and memories of the treasures held there.