Bill Reid's Sculpture
Photo of Raven and the First Men by Dom H UK used under a Creative Commons license.

Maria Tippett, Bill Reid: The Making of an Indian (Vintage Canada, 2004).
A biography of Reid, who was born in 1920 to a Haida mother and a white father, and who came to be seen as one of the foremost Northwest Coast Native artists and a vital figure in the development of its contemporary arts scene. Reid was associated with the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, home to one of his best-known works, The Raven and the First Men, among others, and it was part of his work to make sure that Native arts were represented there as a living tradition, not bygone history. Reid identified himself as white early in his life and as Haida later, and Tippett makes the case that many of his successes owe to his ability to walk the frontier between the two worlds.

Here is a bio of Tippett, and here is the citation (.pdf) when she was awarded an honorary degree by Simon Fraser University in 2006. Here’s a review by Kenneth R. Lister in the University of Toronto Quaterly. Robert Bringhurst, a writer and friend of Reid, thinks Tippett was “incredibly deaf to what Reid accomplished.” See also Stephany Aulenback at Maud Newton. Boy, these materials from the CBC are pretty cool. Here is bloggy reaction to the book. Here and here are more on Reid (n.b. – yes, the first url has a spelling error). Here is a slideshow of some of Reid’s work – sadly, in the news because pieces he made were recently stolen from UBC.

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