MAY 21, 2016


Born May 20, 1941, in Gingolx, British Columbia, Tait was son of noted carver Josiah Tait.  Trained as a millwright, he began to carve while waiting for work in Vancouver in 1971.  Tait established himself in 1973, working with his father to carve and raise the first Nisga’a pole in over 50 years.  While a master totem carver, his work also included masks, jewelry and photos.  His totems are on display in his Nisga’a home, as well as in Chicago, and Japan.  He also carved a pole for the Royal Family in London that sits in Bushy Park.  The pole features, at its base, a killer whale and, on the top, an eagle–monarchs of sea & air.  He was the first person to have a solo exhibit at Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology.  His work was featured in books, and in exhibitions, performances and videos.  In 2012, he was presented with a British Columbia lifetime achievement award for his First Nations’ Art.  Tait died in Vancouver.

Source:  “Norman Tait, renowned Nisga’a carver, dead at 75,” Canadian Press, 5/25/2016.  Retrieved 7/1/2019,
Photo:  GMiall, 9/21/2014.  Canadian Totem Pole Bushy Park, Norman Tait, 1992.  Permissive use pursuant to Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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