Indigenous Skills Handbook and Workshops: an exploration of west coast carving and tradition

Indigenous skills west coast carving cfbc

About the Indigenous Skills handbook  

Indigenous Skills: An Exploration of Northwest Coast Carving and Tradition is intended to be used as a source for educators in Indigenous communities and classrooms to introduce traditional knowledge to their students.

This workbook provides an introduction to a variety of authentic projects that require basic skilled trades training. This training will allow learners to achieve amazing resultsmerging contemporary skills training with traditional methods and information for each project. The cultural connection and information provided allow learners to not only gather knowledge on what materials are being used but also why they are being used and how they would have been used traditionally.

Catalyst to cultural exploration

The project plans and descriptions within the book and on the video series can be used as catalysts to encourage learners to launch an investigation into their own culture—for example, the history behind a project such as the Canoe Bowl can be used to initiate thought and conversation around how it relates to the community utilizing this resource.

bent wood box
Bentwood box
Photography: Indigenous skills carving handbook, Construction Foundation of BC

This workbook features a number of Indigenous artists who each bring diverse experience and expert knowledge to the contents. Each of the featured artists have an incredible amount of knowledge about their specialized art form. From Peter Wayne Gong’s experience as a renowned expert in bentwood box making to Danika Naccarella’s rich connection to the traditions in her communitythese Indigenous artists weave tradition into all areas of their craftsmanshipwith results that inspire so many to maintain and revitalize the rich history within their own communities.

Indigenous skills video workshop series

Construction Foundation knife sharpening indigenous skills carving

Knife sharpening
Photography: Indigenous skills carving handbook, Construction Foundation of BC

Led by West Coast artist, Dean Heron, the Construction Foundation of BC has also shared an Indigenous Skills workshops series on YouTube to connect young people to the traditions and stories of thousands of years of ancestral technologies.

Rooted in Indigenous culture

Dean Heron, Kaska/Tlingit Artist | Indigenous Communities Catalyst, Construction Foundation of BC, acknowledges there are many experienced and qualified artists throughout communities across the province, and encourages anyone using this book to connect with and involve local Elders, language speakers, and knowledge holders to tailor projects to local practices and tradition.

Indigenous skills carving construction foundation
Photography: Indigenous skills carving manual, Construction Foundation of BC

 

What's in the book?

Projects for all skill levels

Getting started
  • Paddle pendant
  • Braided necklace
  • Paddle shaped rattle
  • Latham Mack: the dream machine
  • Soapberry spoon
  • Oil finishing
Paddle pendant
Photography: Indigenous skills carving handbook, Construction Foundation of BC

Intermediate projects
  • Spoon carving
  • Feast tray
  • Danika Naccarella: The dream machine
  • Traditional salmon preparation and preservation
Advanced projects
  • Paddle making
  • Canoe bowl
  • Pater Wayne Gone: The dream machine
  • Bentwood box
Canoe bowl
Photography: Indigenous skills carving handbook, Construction Foundation of BC

Explore the resources

Indigenous Skills: an exploration of west coast carving and tradition

Hands-on lesson plans for educators in Indigenous communities and classrooms to introduce traditional knowledge to their students.

Indigenous Skills video workshops

Led by West Coast artist, Dean Heron, the Indigenous Skills workshops connect young people to the traditions and stories of thousands of years of ancestral technologies.

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