To Speak with a Golden Voice: The Legacy of Bill Reid

Bill Reid is one of Canada’s most highly acclaimed and influential artists. Reid changed how Indigenous art is produced and received, and had a profound impact on Indigenous-settler relations. We’ll explore Reid’s life and legacy by leveraging the exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery, To Speak with a Golden Voice. We’ll hear from Indigenous artists and community leaders, as well as Reid’s students and assistants. The course includes recorded guest speakers, panel discussions, documentary films, as well as the tangible and intangible cultural expressions displayed in the exhibition.

A $50 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Bryan Myles $170.00 0 Join Waitlist

Schedule clarification: This is a four-week online course. It runs from Monday, March 8 to Friday, April 2. Each week, all week, you can study that week’s material, post and respond to messages, and engage in course activities. You will participate in live videoconferencing sessions each Wednesday from 10–11:30 a.m. PT.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Identify formal and stylistic elements of Haida art
  • Describe the difference between Indigenous and settler worldviews
  • Discuss Bill Reid’s contributions to the status of Indigenous arts in Canada
  • Critically examine dominant narratives surrounding Bill Reid’s career

Learning methods

Your online learning will include the following methods:

  • Recorded lectures and podcasts
  • Academic and non-academic articles
  • Participation in written discussions with other students
  • Participation in videoconference seminars

For Liberal Arts for 55+ Certificate students: you will write a reflective essay.


Week 1: Lineage

We explore Bill Reid’s Haida lineage as well as the lineage of Western academic engagements with Northwest Coast art. We will learn about the social function of Haida art, as well as take a look at Reid’s various influences.

Week 2: Process

We take a closer look at Bill Reid’s artistic process and the convergence of Haida and European styles that made his art so distinct. We will also discuss Reid’s methodology of carving in Haida communities, and explore the topics of authenticity and Indigenous modernity.

Week 3: Voice

We explore Haida language, Bill Reid’s distinct voice, but also how he communicated through the promotion and display of his own art works. These elements of Reid’s “voice” played a significant role in raising the profile of Haida works to that of fine art.

Week 4: Legacy

We consider Bill Reid’s legacy and various controversies that surrounded him in life and after he passed away. We will critically examine the term “renaissance” that is often attached to Reid’s name, as well his ongoing impact on Indigenous artists today.

Books, materials and resources

You will access reading material using SFU's online course management system, Canvas.

Technical requirements

This course is delivered using SFU's online learning system, Canvas. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.  

To get the most out of this online course, you should be comfortable doing the following:

  • Using everyday software such as browsers, email and social media
  • Navigating a website by clicking on links and finding pages in a menu
  • Downloading and opening PDF documents
  • Posting, replying and uploading images to a discussion board
  • Participating in videoconferencing sessions

You will be participating in videoconferencing using Zoom Meetings. For this, your computer needs to have a camera, microphone and speakers or headphones. Your computer software should be up to date with the latest available operating system and browser versions.

Accessing your course

  • A few days before the course starts, we will email you more information about the course and how you'll access it. You will also receive an email inviting you to access the Canvas learning platform (click on the link in the invitation to join the course). Once you’ve accessed Canvas, you can begin exploring the platform on your own. The full course will be accessible on its start date.
  • We’ll also host a virtual drop-in time on Zoom Meetings a few days before the course starts. This will give you a chance to check that you can access Zoom Meetings, and that your computer’s camera and microphone and speakers are working properly.

If you're 55+, you may take this course as part of

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