Making Culture Lab, SIAT SFU

Haida Now: Corey Bulpitt (2018)
Made By:
Yu-Chieh Tseng
Brandon Matthew Hoare
Bohan Li
Mengran Song
Mentored by: Kate Hennessy & Aynur Kadir, with Kwiaahwah Jones and Viviane Gosselin

“Documenting Haida Now @ MOV”

Acutely aware of the role public institutions have played in upholding colonial power and of colonialism’s devastating impact on First Nations, the Museum of Vancouver, alongside other museums across the country, is invested in repairing and renewing relationships with First Nations. This means revisiting how we collect, let go, interpret and display collections of Indigenous belongings. It means treasuring relationships with individuals and communities over objects.

A collaboration with the School of Interactive Arts + Technology (SIAT) at Simon Fraser University helped the museum document the building of new relationships between members of the Haida community and MOV. Students produced a series of short documentaries for inclusion in the exhibition. They largely feature visits by Haida artists, performers and scholars at the museum where they met the curatorial team and reconnected with the collection of Haida works. A few other interviews speak to the long-lasting relationship between the Haida, the local host nations and the city.

--Viviane Gosselin, Director of Collections and Exhibition at MOV


The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) presents a visual feast of innovation and tradition with Haida Now, a collaborative exhibition featuring an unparalleled collection of Haida art, on display from March 16, 2018 to June 15, 2019. Guest curated by Haida Curator Kwiaahwah Jones in collaboration with Viviane Gosselin, Co-curator and Director of Collections & Exhibitions at MOV, the exhibition will feature more than 450 works by carvers, weavers, photographers and print makers, collected as early as the 1890s. An impressive group of local Haida Artists will share their insights and knowledge about the collection, providing visitors with the opportunity to experience a new, powerful way to engage with the worldview and sensibility of the Haida people while gaining greater appreciation for the role museums can play in the reconciliation movement.

The Haida Gwaii Museum in Skidegate is a partner in the project with its new director, Nika Collison, playing an advisory role in regards to exhibition content and protocol. “Through this exhibition, the Haida have been presented with the opportunity to share our sophisticated knowledge through our art and culture” says Kwiaahwah Jones, Guest Curator of Haida Now. “Haida Now is a glimpse into the Haida Nation’s artistic and cultural legacy that we continue to write. These are the stories we can use to help build better relationships for the future, and create a greater cross-cultural understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”

The exhibition is organized into meaningful groupings of works that highlight the interconnection between art, language, land, spirituality, resilience, and life in the city. Haida Now elegantly displays over 450 works from the extensive Haida collection at MOV including woven baskets, intricate carvings, masks, headpieces and jewellery. Large portraits of the Haida in Haida Gwaii and Vancouver are featured with compelling soundscapes, short films, and interactive displays to offer a vivid sense of the vibrancy of the culture.

For the past two years, Haida artists and knowledge holders have visited the vaults at MOV, and have helped the curatorial team with the process of documenting these artworks. “We are so thankful to these artists for their generosity and willingness to share their knowledge and infectious excitement about their culture,” says Viviane Gosselin, Co-Curator and Director of Collections & Exhibitions at MOV. “Their insight gives new meaning to this impressive collection of Haida art. Remarkable in its quality and scope, the collection has only been partially exhibited a few times over the last 80 years; we look forward to making these treasures more accessible to the public.”

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Making Culture Lab, SIAT SFU

Making Culture Lab

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