MARCH 27, 2017


Born November 23, 1955, in Kingcome Inlet, north of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Beau learned woodcarving from his grandfather and father assisting them in carving one of the world’s tallest totem poles in Alert Bay.  In 1986, he carved a mask for Expo 86 in Vancouver now housed in the Canadian Museum of History.  His art exhibits include:  Supernatural: Beau Dick and Neil Campbell, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2004); Totems to Turquoise, New York and Vancouver (2005); Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast, McMichael Canadian Art Collection Exhibit (2009); 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010); and the National Gallery of Canada (2013).  In 2012, he received the VIVA award. In 2013, he held a copper-cutting shaming ceremony at the BC Legislature to protest abuse of Native treaties and impact of commercial fish farms on Vancouver Island. A hereditary chief of the Kwakwaka’wakw, ‘Namgis First Nation, he died in Alert Bay.

Sources:  Alex Jacobs, “Chief Beau Dick: Carver, Artist, Advocate, Mentor, Storyteller, Walks On:  Kwakwaka’wakw Hereditary Chief Beau Dick was full of medicine and magic,” Indian Country Today, 4/22/2017.  Retrieved 6/25/2019,  “Beau Dick,” Steinbrueck Native Gallery. Retrieved 6/25/2019,
Photo:   Stewart Butterfield, Mask, by Beau Dick, 1/2/2005. Permissive use under the Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 Generic license.

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