Introductory Lesson: About Lyle Wilson

Materials You’ll Need:
-Digital copy of First Nations Map of British Columbia by Lyle Wilson.

The Artist

“Lyle Wilson is a Haisla artist born and raised near Kitimaat, B.C. (Show the First Nations Map of British Columbia and point to Haisla territory, which is in the centre of the coast, across from Haida Gwaii). "This is where the artist and his ancestors are from. The current Haisla Nation is made up of two historic bands: the Kitimaat and the Kitlope.”

“Lyle is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is a skilled carver, he makes jewelry, writes, and paints. His work shows his interest and commitment to recycling and reusing materials, education, and preserving the Haisla language. We will be studying his painted works.”

Background to First Nations Map of British Columbia

“When Lyle Wilson was working at UBC's Museum of Anthropology (MOA), visitors would often approach him and confuse the well known Haida people with the Haisla people. While he tried to correct them, it was difficult to do without a map to show their separate territories – so he created the one you see before you! So here on Haida Gwaii is where the Haida live. And here, on the mainland, is where Lyle and his people, the Haisla, are from. The lines on the map outline the regions where different languages are spoken – the territories of First Nations peoples of B.C. often overlap. So, because these borders are “sensitive and contentious” as Lyle describes them, he has actually drawn them in morse code for SOS. Who knows what SOS means?”

First Nations Map of British Columbia © Lyle Wilson, 1998. Photo: Jenn Walton.