DECEMBER 4, 2002

HAIDA TOTEM CARVER SKIL KEW WAT (FREDA DIESING) DIED

Born on June 2, 1925*, in Prince Rupert, British Columbia (B.C.), her Haida name meant “Little Magic Woman.”  One of the first female carvers on the Northwest Coast, Freda began carving at age 42, studying at the Vancouver School of Art and Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art.  In the 1960s, she helped re-awaken Northwest Coast art and culture.  She worked with master artists Robert Davidson, Dempsey Bob, and Tony Hunt and mentored Norman Tait.  In the 1980s, Freda’s work was included in the exhibition Legacy – Tradition and Innovation in Northwest Coast Indian Art, at the Royal B.C. Museum.  She was also known for her portrait masks carved without preliminary sketching.  In 2000, Freda received an honorary diploma from Coast Mountain College (formerly Northwest Community College).  In 2002, she received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award and honorary doctorate from the University of Northern BC.  Freda Diesing died in Terrace, BC.

Source: “Freda Diesing biography,” Coast Mountain College.  Retrieved 7/22/2019,” https://www.coastmountaincollege.ca/programs/explore/freda-diesing-school-of-northwest-coast-art/freda-diesing-biography
Flag:  Sodacan, 8/14/2017.  Flag of the Haida Nation. Permissive use under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en
*   Sources are split on her birth date being either February 6, 1925, or June 2, 1925.

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