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HomeNewsCarving by Gitxsan artist returned to Hazelton after four decades in Kitimat

Carving by Gitxsan artist returned to Hazelton after four decades in Kitimat

A large panel carving by Gitxsan artist Walter Harris has returned to its hometown in Hazelton after spending 40 years in Kitimat.

It was commissioned by Ocelot Industries Ltd. in 1982 and was installed in its administration building at an industrial site.

The site has now been taken over by LNG Canada and in 2020 the company decommissioned the building and offered to return the carving to the Harris family.

According to a news release, the Harris Family gifted the panel to the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton.

It is now on an interior wall inside the facility’s hockey arena.

The carving is made from local red cedar and painted red and black and depicts the front of a traditional long house.

Additionally, it reveals aspects of Tsimshian cosmology.

A news release said that the carving was returned in excellent condition and Walter’s family said they were in awe of how pristine it looked.

Harris died in 2009 and was a Gitxsan Hereditary Chief and received many awards for his work.

Additionally, he was an officer of the Order of Canada and his work has been displayed in areas like the Canadian embassy in Paris, Canada’s House of Commons and Vancouver’s International Airport.

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