Multimedia Presentations

The Bill Reid Centre's digital image collection is a remarkable resource that facilitates the exploration and display of Northwest Coast cultual expressions. This section of the site showcases some of the items we've produced using a combination of text, still images, and video.

The presentations seen here were produced in support of the Bill Reid Gallery or during joint projects with First Nation community partners to explore their visual cultural heritage.

Uts'am (Witness) the Black Eagle Canoe

The Bill Reid Centre would like to say a big thank you to everyone who pitched in to make our witnessing ceremony come togeather. It was truly a wonderful and memorable event! The ceremony was held on the Burnaby campus on Oct. 21, 2015 to witness the Black Eagle’s installation outside under the northeast corner of the Academic Quadrangle. The fiberglass canoe is a replica of famed dugout canoe Loo Taas (wave eater), which Reid and his assistants carved from a 750-year-old cedar tree for Expo ’86. It was the first such canoe to be carved on the Northwest Coast in more than 100 years.

Guest Lecture: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Introduction to Fiction: Canadian Aboriginal Literature is an English 101 course taught at SFU by Dr. Deanna Reder. The course examines Canadian Aboriginal authors’ adoption of short story and novel forms, and how they have adapted them to Indigenous storytelling conventions. On October 21, 2015, Award winning visual and contemporary artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas addressed the class as a guest speaker. He discussed Red: A Haida Manga and Sei, a public installation at YVR airport, and shared much more regarding his own personal journey as an artist/activist.


This video, created using stills and video shot by the artist, was done in suport of a Bill Reid Gallery's summer 2014 exhibition, AKOS. AKOS presents the monumental works of spray can art by Haida artist, Corey Bulpitt. It is a remarkable fusion between Hip Hop and Haida cultures.

Ts'msysen Transforming: Morgan Green (Solo Exhibition)

In support of Ts'msysen Transfroming: Morgan Green, the BRC produced this short educational piece to introduce gallery visitors to the Ts'ymsen Community of Lax Kwalaams. Morgan's lineage descends form Lax Kw'alaams, which is well known for the monumental totem poles and house front paintings created there during the latter part of the 19th Century.

Rez-Erect: Native Erotica

In support of Rez-Erect: Native Erotica, the Bill Reid Centre compiled a number of erotic and revealing images from its collection. The assemblage of images and text were put together during the initial stages of the Rez Erect exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery. The book represents some of the conversation provoking images we encountered in our research.

Cover: Raven Transforming into Man by Tony Hunt, 1982. Collection of the Canadian Museum of History. Photo: © CMC

The 1874 Potlatch of Chief Sqwameyuqs

In March 2011 and January 2014, The Bill Reid Centre worked with the Songhees Nation to locate heritage images and artifacts held in museums and archives around the world. The Centre located and transferred over 1000 digital images and associated research to the Songhees, which are now being used by the community for various purposes. Some of these images adorn the Songhees Wellness Centre which opened in 2014 in Esquimalt, B.C., and many others were used in the community publication titled Songhees.

This short recounting of the 1874 potlatch held in Victoria was created as a part of the Bill Reid’s Centre’s work with the Songhees. It draws on historical images of the event and supplements them with information provided by Grant Keddie in his 2003 work, Songhees Pictorial: A History of the Songhees People as seen by Outsiders, 1790-1912.

Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe

In support of the Bill Reid Gallery exhibition, Bill Reid and the Haida Canoe, the Bill Reid Centre created a 20 minute slide show based on a donation of slides by Carrey Linde. The Linde slides document the paddling of Bill Reid's canoe, Lootas, up the Seine River to Paris in 1989. The canoe was then installed in the Musée de l'Homme. The images capture the Haida delegation that traveled with the canoe and the various ceremonies and cultual performance they engaged in.

Revisiting the Silence

In these powerful black and white photos taken by New York photographer Adelaide de Menil in the 1960s, we see the last standing place for many poles before their removal by museums or their return to the earth. The photographs address the dilemma of collecting poles, and for some, the parallel dilemma of allowing the poles to go back to the earth.

The Whale House of Klukwan

This extemporanious narration by Barry Herem was conducted at the Bill Reid Centre in 2010 in conversation with Dr. George MacDonald, and David Graham. It contains rare images of the monuments form the Ganaxtedi clan house known as the Whale House, and presents the controversial story of their sale and return. Mr. Harem, having gone over the presentation has added the following disclaimer:  

"Anyone wanting to know what George Thornton Emmons had to say about the Whale House should read his descriptive anthropological paper, published in 1900 by the American Museum of Natural History in New York, entitled The Whale House of the Chilkat. There are, in addition, many references to the Whale House, its artifacts and its controversy to be found online.  My remarks should be taken as general, personal and imperfect." – Barry Herem