Meet the Artists

Canadian Indigenous Artists

Meet the Artists

We work with a number of local Haida artists and northwest coast Indigenous artists.

My sister and I also design and make a selection of jewelry using crystals, gemstones, fossils, agate, and a local rhyolite we call Serenity Stone. Visit the Our Story page to learn more about us and how we got involved in jewelry, crystals & Haida art. 

We want to take this opportunity to tell you more about some of the amazing Haida and Indigenous artists who we work with. 

Which Haida and Indigenous artists work do you carry?  

We work with a diverse group of more than 20 Haida and Indigenous artists, talented men and women, who are at various stages of their artistic careers. To learn more about each artist, click their name below to read their biography.

  • Agnes Seaweed Wisden
  • Alyson Bell
  • Gene Davidson
  • Grant Pauls
  • Natalie Hunter
  • Robert Davidson 
  • Tyler York 
  • Tyson Brown 
  • Victoria Harper

Is the Haida artwork you sell authentic? 

Yes, it is.

We only purchase Haida art from Haida artists. These artists are our neighbours. They are Haida artists who have been culturally connected to Haida Gwaii for thousands of years. We know that their work is authentic. My sister and I were born and raised on Haida Gwaii and the artists who we work with we have known for many years. From time to time, we also carry artwork from other talented Indigenous artists, whose names and nations are listed in the product descriptions.

Why is your focus mainly on art and jewelry from the Haida nation?

We are located on Haida Gwaii, the unceded territory of the Haida people. Alongside our own creations and passion for crystals, highlighting the works of Haida artists from local communities aligns with our knowledge and passion for jewelry making and our relationships with local artists.

Why buy Haida jewelry & art from a local store on Haida Gwaii?

We live and work on Haida Gwaii. Purchasing from us is a way to ensure your purchase stays within the local Haida Gwaii economy.  

In addition to working with established artists, we focus on highlighting works by young emerging artists and female artists. We're happy to use our platform to bring more awareness to their work.  

Why do you sell Haida art and jewelry?

When our parents first opened the store in Haida Gwaii in 1980, local Haida artists approached them to sell their artwork. Overtime, we continued to work with Haida artists from across the islands. Much of the relationships developed span two generations, as we continue to work with these artists today.

My father, Dutes, was a goldsmith and lapidary artist, and enjoyed collaborating with artists to share his knowledge and ideas in jewelry making. He shared his lapidary workshop, tools, materials, and sometimes collaborated on Haida jewelry pieces to integrate unique gemstones and crystals.

After he passed, many artists continued to support us, his daughters, by providing business advice, technical knowledge of the art form, and a patient ear for queries concerning their art. Hawaa to these artists for their support.  

Are you Haida?

No, my sister and I are not from the Haida Nation. We were born and raised in Haida Gwaii. Our mother was born in Ontario and our father was born in France.

Is wearing Haida jewelry cultural misappropriation?

No, it isn’t. Once in a while this question comes up in the store and so we polled a few of the artists we work with to provide feedback. 

When you buy a piece of Haida jewelry or art, you support the professional livelihood of a Haida artist. The artists we work with are full-time professional artists and rely on a global market of customers beyond Haida Gwaii. We do not sell Haida art by non-Haida artists, and we think doing so does a disservice to the Haida artists who are actively producing art. When you purchase a piece of Haida jewelry you are supporting the continuation of the art form.

In a recent visit to our store, Haida artist Robert Davidson shared with me further clarity about the types of Haida art created today. Note: These are not his words, word for word, but a summary of what I understood from his sharing.  

Haida art for ceremonial purpose 

This is the creation of art for ceremony, for example art for a potlach, pole raising, chieftainship, funeral, or headstone. Its purpose is sacred.

Haida art for representation of your crest

When you're Haida you’re born into a clan system based on which clan your mother is from. The crests, symbolic designs and stories you identify with, eg. the designs you can wear in jewelry, regalia, tattoo, dance, etc., are dependent on which clan you belong to. These crests help to identify your lineage, your relations, and your extended family to members of other clans.

Haida art as an item of trade 

Since first contact of Europeans, Haida people have created art in response to its demand in the global market. The continued interest in the art form and culture, and recognition and promotion of Haida art by influential Haida artists has helped to bring recognition and support for a wide range of work by Haida artists. Today, for emerging Haida artists, there are many opportunities for personal, cultural, and career growth. 

What is the Artists’ Tool Fund?

We have developed an Artists’ Tool Fund. With donations from customers, matched by Crystal Cabin and other donors, we provide one artist per quarter with a new jewelry tool that they need to become more efficient or further their jewelry art form. You can donate to this fund here.  

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