Tuesday, May 30, 2006

To Access the Native American Indian Art Video on Google

For those who prefer to use the Google Video site directly in order to see the new Native American Indian art video by Free Spirit Gallery, just go to the Google Video site and enter the search terms 'native indian art' and the video should come up. You can also cut and paste the following right to your browser to bypass the search;


Of course, this video on Pacific Northwest Native American Indian art is already embedded into the Free Spirit Gallery site so one doesn't even have to go on the Google site to see the video. Just go to Pacific Northwest Native American Indian Art Video. One of the benefits of accessing the video via the Free Spirit Gallery website is that if the Google site fails, there are links to two other video sites (IFILM and YouTube) where the same video can be viewed right away.

There is also a quick link to inform your friends online about the video and if one wishes to get more details on available Pacific Northwest Native Indian art, you are already on the Free Spirit Gallery website. Going to the Gallery page is all that's required to get started. Free Spirit Gallery usually has stock of Northwest Native American Indian art pieces that are similar to the ones shown in the video. Some pieces displayed on the video may even be available for sale.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Native American Art Thunderbird Carvings

Here a a pair of Native American art thunderbird carvings made by Cody Mathias, a master carver from BC, Canada. The thunderbird is one of the most revered characters in Native American art and culture, particularly the Northwest Indian tribes who would put the thunderbird at the top of their totem poles.

These thunderbird carvings are 12 inches by 4 1/2 inches. Best of all, they are both under $100 US each. For more details on these magnificent thunderbird carvings, see Native American Art Bird Carvings

native american art thunderbird carvings native american art thunderbird carvings

Campaign Against Fake Alaskan Native Art


ANCHORAGE - An effort to help consumers identify Alaska Native-made products and get people to report fakes has resulted in a handful of investigations by the Federal Trade Commission. Some 950,000 brochures and post cards were distributed in Alaska communities, gift shops, art galleries and on cruise ships this tourist season to help visitors tell genuine Alaska Native arts and crafts from imitations, said Chuck Harwood, FTC regional director in Seattle. The campaign cost $46,000 and spurred reports from consumers who believed they may have been duped into buying counterfeit Alaska Native-made arts or crafts. Other reports came from former employees of Alaska gift shops turning in their old bosses, Harwood said. Harwood told the Alaska Journal of Commerce he could not go into detail because the cases are pending. The state attorney general's office, the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the U.S. Department of Interior's Indian Arts and Crafts Board joined the FTC in the campaign. While it only resulted in a few tips, it's a start, Harwood said. "It's difficult to get a handle on the scope of this problem," Harwood said. "A handful of reports is major. ... We're getting people to report, so it's a success." Alaska Native art is a multimillion dollar industry. Selling fake pieces as genuine is a violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. The agency has done investigative work in Alaska in the past, sending "undercover shoppers" into gift shops and galleries. "We much prefer people to give us a call and tell us of problems," Harwood said. "It makes for a cleaner case." Violators are subject to fines or prison. Only one case in the last few years has been prosecuted in Alaska. Jack Tripp, a Juneau gift shop owner, was fined $20,000 in 1996 for misrepresenting Alaska Native art, Harwood said. The art was made by Asian artists who used Eskimo-like names to sign their pieces, Harwood said. The public education campaign that began last spring was in part to help bring notice to the state's Silver Hand program, established in 1961 to help identify Alaska Native arts and crafts. The program uses a hand-shaped logo on a tag or sticker to identify Alaska Native art as authentic to protect the consumer and the artist. Saunders McNeill, Native arts program director at the state Council on the Arts, said the program is funded at $50,000 annually and represents about 1,400 certified artists. The Alaska State Council on the Arts has managed the program since 1998. Artists qualify by being at least a quarter Alaska Native. They must be residents and use mainly natural materials, according to the program's guidelines. However, many Alaska Native artists do not participate. Sometimes shop owners remove Silver Hand certification because it raises questions for other legitimate Alaska Native-made art, McNeill said. Rita Holden, manager of One People Gifts in downtown Anchorage, said the Silver Hand program does little for Native artists. "Some of our nicest work, frankly, comes from street people," Holden said. "They are not about to apply for that silly little paw. They think it's dumb."

Another article that is worth looking at for this subject of authenticity is The Authenticity of Eskimo Inuit Art and Native American Art.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Native American Indian Art Video also on IFILM

The Native American Indian art video by Free Spirit Gallery is also on the IFILM video website now. So just in case there's a website failure of any one of the three video sites (Google, YouTube, IFILM), one can simply see the same video at another video site. This video should be searchable using terms such as 'native american', 'native art', 'native indian', etc.

To see this clip at IFILM, just go to Native American Indian Art Video at IFILM

For more information on Native American Indian art, see Free Spirit Gallery

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Montreal Condo Rental Condominium for Rent Near Art Galleries

For those who would like to live in downtown Montreal near the art galleries (contemporary, Inuit and native), restaurants, boutiques and other attractions, there's a one bedroom (3 1/2) condo available for rental in the Old Montreal district.

This is a 785 square feet unit in an upscale condominium building and the monthly rent is $1,575 Canadian and includes electricity, heat/air conditioning, ensuite laundry, hardwood floors, kitchen appliances, indoor parking, window blinds and storage.

A commercial gym, daycare and convenince store are right downstairs. The condo faces a quiet garden terrace. This condominium is in an excellent Old Montreal location close to the metro. Occupancy can be immediate. This is luxury downtown Montreal living at its finest.

For further information, please e-mail clintleung@videotron.ca or call 514-421-1124.

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This Montreal condo is also available for sale - further details at Montreal Condos For Sale

Native American Art Video at YouTube

For those who like the YouTube website for watching videos on the internet, the Native American art video by Free Spirit Gallery can be accessed here;

YouTube Native American Art Video

Articles and fine examples of Native American art can be seen at Free Spirit Gallery

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Large Northwest Coast Native American Art Print

Here is the latest arrival at Free Spirit Gallery. It is a large Northwest Coast Native American art print of a two headed serpent by Chuck Sam of the Squamish Nation in BC Canada. It is a large size measuring 40 inches by 31 inches with the custom fitted frame. There is a lot of detail in this Northwest Coast Native American art print as shown below. For more images and details, see this print and others at Northwest Coast Native American Art Prints.

northwest coast native american art print

ビデオ - 北西アメリカ原住民アート彫刻 - Video

ビデオ - 北西アメリカ原住民アート彫刻 - Video

Free Spirit Gallery in Japanese - 日本語

Free Spirit Gallery in English

ビデオ 北西アメリカ原住民アート彫刻

Monday, May 22, 2006

Video of Northwest Native American Indian Art

Free Spirit Gallery has just produced a video clip of a collection of magnificent Northwest Native American Indian art carvings by master carvers from BC Canada. This three minute and 20 second video is set to a music track of a single flute as well as the sounds of crashing Pacific Ocean waves. To see this unique production, see Northwest Native American Indian Art Video.

Free Spirit Gallery specializes in authentic Northwest Native Indian art and Inuit art.

Nordwestliche Indianische Kunst der Ureinwohner Video

Nordwestliche Indianische Kunst der Ureinwohner video an Free Spirit Gallery

Nordwestliche Indianische Kunst der Ureinwohner

Friday, May 19, 2006

Rescue Groups Predict Getting Busy As Arctic Travel Increases

CBC News

Search-and-rescue groups in the far North are preparing for what they expect will be a surge in demand for their services as more and more adventure seekers, eco-tourists and scientists head to the Canadian Arctic.

"We're getting more adventurers and everybody wants to go through the Northwest Passage or they want to have a piece of this last frontier¦ which is creating some concerns for us," said Col. Norm Couturier, who commands the Canadian Forces in the North.

Couturier is also chair of the Arctic Security Interdepartmental Working Group, a gathering of people from the military, various federal and territorial government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The 65-member group is meeting this week in Iqaluit to discuss boosting its preparation for search-and-rescue operations and other emergencies because it seems the world's thrill-seekers have already crossed off their checklists such places as Mount Everest, Antarctica and the Amazon.

Extreme tourists are starting to go north to paraglide off the steep cliffs of Baffin Island or cross the ice floes to reach the North Pole.

And next year will be International Polar Year, which Couturier says will bring thousands of scientists from numerous countries over a two-year period.

Not all of those scientists will be accustomed to the challenges of conditions in the Arctic, but David Hik, a researcher with the University of Alberta and member of the Canadian Secretariat for International Polar Year, says they will all have to follow the same guidelines as Canadian researchers now working in the North.

"I really hope that no one shows up thinking that they'll be able to go out on the land in shorts and T-shirts," he said. "I know that happens sometimes but we're certainly trying to make sure that everyone involved¦ is much better prepared than that."

For more articles on Arctic travel, see;

Traveling to the Canadian Arctic

Trip to Iqaluit

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Inuit Women Learn How To Make Traditional Baby Carriers Again

Nunatsiaq News


The large-hooded amautik garment, worn by Inuit women, is unique: the parka's traditional design combines beauty as well as warmth and functionality for both mothers and babies.

But the know-how to make an amautik is also unique because it's passed on from one generation to the next.

Eager to nurture the knowledge and skills needed to produce an amautik, about 20 Nunavik women, of all ages and from many communities, recently gathered in Kangirsuk.

There, they joined other women from Kangirsuk in the community's Mirsuvik sewing centre, which was built by Makivik Corp. to support women's traditional activities.

"It was packed - you couldn't walk on the floor because you would walk on somebody's pattern," says Nancianne Gardiner-Grey.

Nancianne, who is the mother of two young children, came up with the idea of organizing a regional workshop on amautik-making when she needed an amautik for herself. The daughter of Paddy Gardiner and Roda Grey, she grew up in Kangirsuk, but was on her own two years ago when her parents moved to Ottawa and she was having her first baby.

"I was having a hard time making an amautik for myself. Of course, I really needed an amautik because I didn't have a mother or a grandmother here to help me," Nancianne says. "I was even having a hard time finding women who knew how to make amautiks. I was asking around, and no one knew. I was very surprised."

Her surprise gave way to shock when she learned from her cousin, Vicki Simigak, who now lives in Nuuk, that women in Greenland don't wear amautiit - but push their children along in Danish-style carriages when they're outside.

"That's going to happen here if people keep doing what they're doing, which is not knowing how to make amautiks," Nancianne says.

So, she proposed a regional workshop on amautik-making to the Canada Council for the Arts, and then to regional organizations, such as the health board and Makivik Corp., and businesses. Her idea grew to a $30,000 weekend-long workshop.

"It sort of became bigger than I expected," Nancianne says.

Expert sewers, young and old, were among the women who signed up for the workshop.

"But some others had never touched a sewing machine in their lives and they made an amautik. It was incredible," Nancianne says.

Elders Leah Kudluk of Kangirsuk, Eva Illimasaut of Kangiqsujuaq, and Kaudjak Tarkirk of Salluit were on hand to discuss their traditional knowledge on the amautik. They spoke about what it was like carrying a baby on a dog team and how they would change their babies' diapers and nurse them, without taking them out of the amautik; they discussed taboos related to pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood; and, they debated over what is the proper way to make an amautik and the differences between Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay designs.

"We even got into the details about what colours to use if you have a boy or a girl. Kaudjak Tarkirk said the amautik should only be black or blue for a boy. If you use red or yellow or other bright colours on the amautik, it's bad luck, and the boy won't grow up to be a brave hunter," Nancianne says.

While some of the participants worked on amautiit with an outside cover in beige, mustard-yellow, green or blue, white is still the colour of choice.

For Maaki Putulik, the best part of the recent amautik workshop in Kangirsuk was seeing women work together, openly sharing skills and knowledge "and being cool about it."

"It used to be the only fabric that came up North. So, it's become the colour for the silapaks [outside cover] on the amautiks, but the elders said it's up to the maker of the amautik. They understand that things are changing and people want to be more modern," Nancianne says.

The workshop participants also spoke about the beaded designs, which were traditionally sewn on to amautiit.

Most of the 10 amautiit made during the workshop were long ones.

Betsy Weetalutuk was the first person to finish an amautik in the workshop, with the help of instructor Dora Oweetaluktuk of Inukjuak. Alacie Lucassie and Raina Niviaxie, young women who never sewed before, persevered and finished an amautik with the help of instructor Anna Ohaituk of Inukjuak. Louisa Whitely-Tukkiapik finished a girl's amautik; Minnie Nappatuk kept on sewing even after the workshop finished, and finished her amautik, with the help of instructor Lizzie Putulik of Kangirsuk, working into the late hours of the night before she went home.

But not everyone finished their projects.

"We were all so new and it takes time. You can't really finish an amautik in three days especially if you are a beginner," Nancianne says.

The patterns for amautiit are complicated, Nancianne learned, because certain parts of the pattern play a big role in the comfort, fit and shape.

"These patterns go back a long time. There was a lady with a pattern that went back to the 1940s made of cloth," Nancianne says.

Working in pairs, along with an instructor, workshop participants learned how to customize the amautik pattern to their bodies, to measure the chest from shoulder to shoulder with a thumb and index finger, to use the knuckles for extra measuring, and to determine the length of the akuq [the tail] of the amautik, according to a woman's height.

At the workshop, the women also made a sheepskin amautik and another one of sealskin, but many were surprised to learn that it's possible to make a basic amautik for about $100 - the cost of several metres of cloth.

Maaki Putulik, the mother of a baby boy, helped organize the workshop. Maaki's mother, Lizzie, a skilled sewer, was also one of the instructors.

For Maaki, the best part of the workshop was seeing women work together, openly sharing skills and knowledge "and being cool about it."

"It was a happy atmosphere for a lot of women," she says.

During the workshop, Nancianne and Maaki took photos and conducted interviews with the elders. These will be given to Nunavik's Avataq Cultural Institute for safekeeping.

"We're not really interested in commercializing this because we're very concerned about intellectual property," Maaki says. "The qajak [kayak] was commercialized, and it slipped out of our hands."

For traditional artwork, see Inuit Art at Free Spirit Gallery

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Satisfied Customers of Online Inuit Art and Native Indian Art Gallery

It is true indeed that the internet has changed the way many of us do our shopping. With online shopping, we can buy just about anything out there. The art world was a little slower than other consumer items such as books and many art collectors are still reluctant to buy artwork over the internet.

However, there are now reputable online art galleries with websites where shopping for art is not only safe but can also result in cost savings if the gallery is exclusively online. One such website is the Free Spirit Gallery one which specializes in Inuit art and Northwest Native Indian art. Free Spirit Gallery has customers from all over North America and overseas in countries as far away as Australia and Germany. To see some of the comments made from satisfied customers of Free Spirit Gallery, see testimonials.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Study Confirms Salmon Farms Okay

A six year study by tribal members and university researchers confirms what the Pacific Northwest Native Canadian Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation has believed all along. The study suggests that salmon farms can be operated in a sustainable manner, and in a way that respects the environment and Canadian First Nations traditions. The Native Canadian tribe's three salmon farms are operated in a partnership between Marine Harvest Canada and the Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation. The partnership agreement recognizes traditional territory, environmental stewardship and economic development, and stipulates ongoing environmental research. "It is what we hoped for," states Percy Starr, Chief Councillor, Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation. "We watch these farms very closely and we know our waters. Done properly salmon farming can co-exist with our traditional values."

Salmon is so important in the culture and lives of Pacific Northwest Native Canadian aboriginals, they often feature the fish in their Northwest Native art. To see examples of artwork, see Northwest Native Art Salmon. There's also an article on the Salmon in Northwest Native Art and Culture.

European Students Visit Native American Indian Sights

Last summer, four high school students from Rapid City, South Dakaota, spent a week in Austria and Germany. Last month, Austrian students and teachers traveled to South Dakota where Native American Lakota families, teachers, and students opened their homes to them. The 22 students and 2 teachers from the Graz International Bilingual School spent a week of tours, socializing and attending area events. This student exchange was directed through Central High School’s Lakota-Austrian Youth Exchange Program. The program has dispelled many myths the Austrians have about Native American Indians. “It’s surprising, but a lot of the students we met in Austria thought we still lived in tipis and wear buckskin clothing,” said Susana Geliga, who founded the exchange program in 2004. Geliga said the Austrian group toured the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Wounded Knee, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Deadwood and a pow-wow at Black Hills State University. They also hiked in the Badlands and Custer State Park.

Some European countries like Germany have a fascination about Native American Indian culture. Free Spirit Gallery, an online art gallery specializing in Native American art recently announced the launch of part of its website in German. There's a link to the German pages at the home page of the Free Spirit Gallery website.

Inuit Art eBook Ready For Free Download - Eskimo Art Book

The second eBook titled 'An Overview of Canadian Arctic Inuit Art' is now ready for free download at the Free Spirit Gallery website. This 30 page eBook covers some history of Inuit art, as well as descriptions of materials and various styles of Inuit art across the Canadian Arctic region. There is also a discussion of authenticity and factors determining overall prices of Inuit art.

Like the first eBook offered by Free Spirit Gallery titled 'An Overview of Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art', the second eBook is also free for all visitors to the website. Just go to the website and there should be links pointing to both eBooks.

inuit art book

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Northwest Native American Tribes Want University Built

The Northwest Native American Tulalip tribes want Washington state to build its next public university on the Tulalip reservation. State Rep. John McCoy, a tribal member himself, said three potential sites have been identified. Two are within Quil Ceda Village, the tribe's commercial village. The Evergreen State College in Olympia, which opened in 1967, is the last public four-year school to open in the state since Western Washington University in 1899.

This would definitely be a good indirect incentive to influence Northwest Native American youth to stay in school and eventually attend higher education, perhaps right in the reserve sites.

For native art from this region, see Northwest Native American Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Grizzly Bear Painting by Anthony Joseph Cleaned

The original painting by Anthony Joseph of a Grizzly Bear had a slight discoloration near the top when it was shipped to Free Spirit Gallery but this had since been cleaned and restored. The previous faint blemish wasn't a big problem before anyway but now there's no problem at all with this striking Northwest Native Indian painting. See it at Northwest Native Indian Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Concerns Over Narwhal Hunting in Greenland and Nunavut

A joint Canada-Greenland wildlife commission is pressing Greenland to cut the quota for its annual narwhal hunt due to concerns that the world could ban the trade of narwhal tusks. A committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will review the status of the narwhal this summer. Greenland only introduced quotas on narwhal and beluga hunting two years ago. A total of 310 animals were taken on last year's hunt. The committee recommended at a meeting last month that future quotas should be fewer than a 135.

Scientists have raised concerns about declining numbers of the sea mammals for some time. There's evidence that beluga numbers in West Greenland are half of what they were before, while narwhal populations have declined to 25 per cent of their historical numbers.

Even though Nunavut hunters in Canada do not hunt the Western Greenland narwhal population, Nunavut's representative on the joint commission says CITES decisions can affect hunters in the territory.

"There's a potential for the organization to come down hard on Greenland in terms of narwhal trade that would ultimately affect Nunavut or Canada," said Joe Tigullaraq, who is also chair of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.

Greenland will set its new annual quota by July 1, when its new hunting season begins. The CITES review is scheduled to begin just a few days later.

For some nice Inuit sculptures of narwhal and beluga whales, see Inuit Whale Sculptures at Free Spirit Gallery.

Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art Book (eBook) Now PDF File

The eBook 'An Overview of Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art' that was uploaded to the Free Spirit Gallery website is now a direct PDF file. Previously, it was a ZIP file that required unzipping before accessing the pages. However, we found that the ZIP version is not significantly smaller than the PDF version so we changed it to the PDF file on the server. Therefore, unzipping is now longer required when accessing this eBook on Northwest Native Indian art. This will make things a bit easier for visitors of the Free Spirit Gallery website.

The second eBook that will be available for download should be ready by this weekend and it will also be a direct PDF file rather than a ZIP file. The second eBook will be on Inuit art. An annoucement on this Inuit and Native Art Bulletin blog will be made when the Inuit art eBook is available for download.

New Northwest Native American Art Original Painting

Free Spirit Gallery has added a new Northwest Native American art original painting by Aaron Joseph of Squamish Nation, BC Canada to its gallery website. This beautiful 2004 original painting (not limited edition print) has some beautiful red colors and is already installed with a custom double mat of black and red. To see more images and get more details of this wonderful original painting of a bear, see Northwest Native American Art Paintings.

northwest native american art paintings

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Walruses Now Endangered Species in Canadian Arctic?

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) claims that the walrus is now a species of special concern and its over-hunting may be the cause. The Canadian federal committee, which met in April to consider the health of different species in Canada, estimates there may be fewer than than 15,000 walruses left in the Canadian Arctic.

Dr. Andrew Trites, who co-chairs the marine mammal specialist group for COSEWIC, said the populations seem to be particularly low in the southeast part of Hudson Bay and in Baffin Bay. "We're concerned about that, and we're basically letting people of Nunavut and people of Canada know that things are not all well with walrus," he said.

However, Joe Tigullaraq, the chair of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, said he's worried about the way the COSEWIC is lumping together all walrus populations that range from the Arctic down to the province of Nova Scotia. "The populations that are actually very healthy will be treated the same way as the populations that are in trouble," he said. "That's a problem in itself."

The new designation for the walrus by COSEWIC will not mean changes to hunting quotas, but Trites said research needs to be done to determine if hunting is happening at sustainable levels. "Numbers killed are fairly low as you look around the Arctic," he said. "And so, while no single person is taking too many, the sum collectively, they all add up."

Trites said the COSEWIC will re-examine the status of the walrus as updated statistics come in. If further research proves the walrus is in trouble, its status could be changed to threatened or endangered.

COSEWIC meets every April to declare the status of all species reviewed on Canada's official list of endangered species. There are now 529 species in various risk categories, including 206 endangered; 135 threatened; 153 special concern; 22 extirpated species (no longer found in the wild) and 13 extinct.

For some excellent Walrus Inuit Carvings, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Will Oil Revenues in Alaska Affect Local Eskimo Art?

The state of Alaska is apparently doing quite well financially these days due to the export of its gas and oil via its pipelines. In fact, Alaska has done so well in recent years, every tax paying person in Alaska received about $850 US as a distribution due to its huge surplus. I wonder if the infusion of funds into the state will result in any programs that will help the local artists market their Eskimo art more effectively? The Eskimo art industry in Alaska has been lagging behind the Canadian industry for Eskimo art since the Canadians have implemented quite effective distribution channels for its Eskimo art.

To see examples of Eskimo Art from Canada, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Holman Inuit Art Print of Fisherman

Here is a nice colorful Inuit art print of a man fishing by Peter Aliknak of Holman, Nunavut. Holman is the other major Inuit art center besides Cape Dorset for producing high quality prints. This particular Inuit print was done in 1986 and is 29 of a limited edition of only 30. For more details and images, see Inuit Art Prints at Free Spirit Gallery.

For an article about the background on how Inuit art print making started up in the Arctic, see The Birth of Inuit Art Prints.

inuit art prints

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Inuit Arts and Crafts Festival in Nunavut

The annual Nunavut Arts Festival put on by the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association will be June 21 to 28 this year in Iqaluit, Nunavut. It will feature about 50 Inuit artists from all over Nunavut displaying their Inuit arts and crafts. Previously, it was hoped to have this event in a different location in Nunavut each year but financially it is no longer feasible so it was decided to keep the festival in the capital city of Iqaluit.

See examples of great Inuit arts and crafts at the Free Spirit Gallery website.

Inuit Elders from Nunavut Help Name Fossil Fish

Scientists have discovered fossils of a 375,000,000 year old fish believed to be the long sought missing link of how fish evolved to a life on land. Scientists uncovered several well preserved skeletons of the fossil fish in stream beds up in the Canadian Arctic 600 miles from the North Pole. The skeletons have the same fins, scales and other attributes of fish that are 4 to 9 feet long. However, on closer examination, the scientists found changes that anticipate the emergence of land animals. These particular fishes' forward fins show evidence of limbs in the making. There are the beginnings of digits, proto-wrists, elbows and shoulders. The fossil fish had necks, ribs, flat skulls resembling a crocodile's and other parts similar to four-legged tetrapods or land animals.

These fossil fish have been named Tiktaalik roseae, at the suggestion of Inuit elders in Nunavut. Tiktaalik (pronounced tic-TAH-lick) means "large shallow water fish." The scientists say the Tiktaalik fossils are the most compelling examples found of fish in transition to tetrapods.

See Nunavut Inuit Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Northwestern Native Art Totem Pole to be Carved for LA

A huge example of Northwestern Native art will be displayed at the Southwest Museum of the American Indian in LA when Haida carver Jim Hart finishes a massive red cedar totem pole for the 'Totems to Turquoise' exhibit. The 435 year old cedar was felled two winters ago on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands in BC Canada). The 1,600 pound log was then prepared for shipment.

"We come from the land of big trees, big cedars like this one," Hart said. "We used to make big canoes from one log, and they're ocean-going canoes."

This new Northwestern Native art totem pole will be a bear, with a museum entryway through the bear's stomach. "It has a lot of meanings," Hart said. "It's not just a doorway. This is a bear mother and it has the tongue hanging out, so as you're going through the doorway it's actually licking you: it expresses the mother instinct. The door also represents stepping back into the womb at night when you're going back to safety, so that's your center of the world. The next morning when you get up and you want to go out, you're like reborn. There's a lot to it, you know. Plus it's defensive. You have to crouch down to go through, so if you're a bad person going in there to do damage, somebody can wait for you on the other side and conk you on the head."

For more background information on the bear's significance, see the Bear in Northwestern Native Art.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Inuit Circus Troupe

There an Inuit circus troupe called Artcirq and two of its members are attending a week-long residency at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin, Ireland. One of the members, Derek Aqqiaruq, is a juggler and acrobat as well as leader of the Igloolik rock band, The Eskies. The other member is Leah Angutimariq, an Inuit throat singer, juggler, acrobat and actress. Artcirq was founded in 1998 to help combat suicides among young Inuit people. This is the first time artists have performed outside Igloolik. "Artcirq is the first time a group of Inuit have worked together, understanding the concept of learning new skills, which in this case is circus, and adapting it with their own culture in an artistic way," said Guillaume Saladan. "It's very powerful. We're making a show built on their traditions."

For Inuit art from the Arctic region, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Canadian First Nation Tribe to Build Wind Park

In partnership with Ventus Energy, the Canadian First Nation Chisasibi band of Cree Indians hope to build Canada's largest wind park. The $3,000,000,000 project will involve 1,100 windmills that would generate 1,650 megawatts from wind power. The project, named Yudinn Energy Limited Partnership, has filed an application to export up to 204 megawatts, or 1.7 terawatt hours, of electricity to the United States. The windmills will be built on a 500-kilometre-long corridor along La Grande River and the Laforge/Brisay area in the province of Quebec. However, the plans must be approved by both the Canadian federal and Quebec governments.

See Free Spirit Gallery for Canadian First Nation art.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Northwest Coast Native Indian Art Original Painting

Here is an excellent opportunity to own a Northwest Coast Native Indian art original painting by a very talented artist for the price of a limited edition art print. This 1998 original painting was done by Anthony Joseph. For more details and images, see Northwest Coast Native Indian Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

northwest coast native indian art

Medical Students Immerse Themselves in Canadian Aboriginal First Nations Culture

More than 50 students from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine in Canada will participate in a month-long immersion program in remote Canadian Aboriginal First Nations communities. "No other medical school in North America incorporates a required cultural immersion experience into a student's learning," the NOSM says on its website. Dan Hunt, vice-dean at NOSM, said doctors who plan to work in the North must be immersed in the communities they will serve. "Both the aboriginal community and people who study cultural competency tell us to truly understand a culture, one must actually live there for a little while," he said.

Students will visit these communities which are served only by physicians who usually fly in by bush plane for a few days at a time. They will spend 10 -12 hours a week in clinical settings such as urgent care wards, after-hours clinics, youth and school programs. Interestingly enough, they will also spend up to 12 hours experiencing aboriginal feasts, hunting, fishing and other community activities. The students are also expected to keep up with their medical studies through teleconferencing sessions.

In a former career, I traveled throughout northwest Ontario and dealt with physicians who flew up to Canadian aboriginal First Nations communities. They regarded their trips as very rewarding from a career point of view. However, I was told that quite often, Canadian aboriginal patients are not very complient with medical advice and drug treatments. Perhaps this initiative by the new medical students will help this issue as they are able to build better bonds with the northern Canadian aboriginal First Nations communities.

For some culture, see Canadian Aboriginal First Nations Art at Free Spirit Gallery

Inuit Ivory Cribbage Board Sold at Skinner's Auction

Skinner Auctioneers in Boston sold an Inuit cribbage board carved of ivory last September. It sold for $5,581 US. These cribbage boards were common during the period when European whalers visited the Arctic region in Canada and the local Inuit made them for the visitors as trade. For more details on early Inuit art, see the extensive Inuit art information articles list at the Free Spirit Gallery website.

For exquisite contemporary Inuit art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Northwest Coast American Indian Art at Boston Auction

Skinner Auctioneers in Boston sold several Northwest Coast American Indian art pieces at their September auction. A Tsimshian mask sold for a staggering $259,000 US while a Kwakwaka'wakw mask sold for $88,125 US. A small 4 3/4 inch Tlingit maskette sold for $18,800 US while a 45 inch totem pole went for $11,163 US. A few other masks and totem poles all from the Northwest Coast region sold in the $4,000 to $8,000 US range.

For contemporary Northwest Coast American Indian Art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Old Northwest Coast Indian Art Sells Well at Auctions

Last September in Cincinnati, Ohio, there were some Northwest Coast Indian art pieces that sold quite well at Cowan's Auctions. A Tlingit chief's hat made of wood, copper and shell sold for $16,657 US while a Kwakwaka'wakw totem pole 79 inches high sold for $6,325 US. A Northwest Coast Indian doll sold for $4,600 US while a second one sold for $4,312 US. Although not Northwest, a Canadian Montagnais-Naskapi aboriginal mask sold for $5,175 US.

This may imply that investing in good quality Northwest Coast Indian art is worthwhile. For contemporary pieces available, see Northwest Coast Indian Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Wolf and Deer Northwest Coast Native American Indian Art Print Added

Another Northwest Coast Native American Indian art print was added to Free Spirit Gallery. This one is of a Wolf and Deer by Northwest Coast Native American Indian artist Wesley Nahanee of Squamish Nation, Canada. It was done in 1996 and is a limited edition of a 120 series. This is a rare authentic Northwest Coast Native American Indian art print that is priced below $100 US. For more details and images, see Northwest Coast Native American Indian Art Prints.

northwest coast native american indian art prints

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Inuit Art Carving Made Entirely of Caribou Antler

One piece I would like to highlight is the interesting one by Gideon Taqoagak of Iqaluit, Nunavut. Gideon, born in 1949 is one of the most established carvers in the Arctic. As a result, his artwork is first class quality. The piece highlighted below is carved entirely from caribou antler. Although it is not a large piece at five inches high, it is very detailed with the two figures, one being the Inuit drum dancer and the other being the polar bear playfully following along. More images as well as further details of this wonderful and unique Inuit art carving can be found in our Other Inuit Carvings section of Free Spirit Gallery.

inuit art carvings polar bear drum dancer

Friday, May 05, 2006

Inuit Herbal Tea from Canada's Arctic

I came across some Inuit herbal tea from the Nunavik region (Arctic Quebec). They have some very interesting flavors including crowberry , cloudberry, arctic blend and labrador. The brand is called Northern Delights and is an initiative of the Avataq Inuit group. For more information on these Inuit herbal teas, see http://www.avataq.qc.ca/tea_en.cfm. So far, the only flavor I tried is the cloudberry to help nurse my cold this week. It's a bit different from other herbal teas I normally take as it's got a stronger aroma to it.

inuit tea arctic

For beautiful artwork from Canada's Arctic, see Inuit Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Canadian Native Wins at Hoop Dance World Championships at Heard Museum

One of the most interesting events at the Heard Museum every year is the World Championships Hoop Dance contest. Canadian Natives have excelled in this competition and this year was no different. Dallas Arcand, a Cree Canadian Native from Alberta won first place.

For world class native art, see Canadian Native Art at Free Spirit Gallery.

Canadian Aboriginal Artist Wins Award

Jane Ash Poitras, a Canadian aboriginal artist living in Edmonton, Alberta, won the arts and cultural award at the annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards of Canada. Poitras, a Cree/Chipewyan Canadian Native, is known for her contemporary paintings and collages.

For other art prints and paintings by fine Canadian aboriginal artists, see the Northwest Canadian Aboriginal Art Prints section of Free Spirit Gallery.

Northwest Canadian Indian Artist (Haida) Wins Award at Heard Museum Market Fair

At the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market this past March, one of the major award winners was a Northwest Canadian Indian artist by the name of Eliasica Timmerman (Haida). Timmerman won for a basket. This is good news for Northwest Canadian Indian art since the Heard Museum event is one of the largest Indian art fairs in North America and is usually dominated by Southwest Indian art due to the location. Hopefully, this win will bring more exposure to Northwest Canadian Indian art, especially to the southwest U.S. market.

For lots of examples of Northwest Canadian Indian art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

First Nations Native Women to Walk Around Great Lakes

A group of Anishinaabe-kwe First Nations Native women and their supporters plan to walk around all Great Lakes to bring attention to the dangers of industrial and agricultural toxins in these waters. The campaign is called Mother Earth Water Walk and is an annual event. They started out in 2003 walking around Lake Superior. Lakes Michigan and Huron were completed in 2004 and 2005 respectively. This year, they plan to walk around Lake Ontario starting at Niagara-on-the-Lake on April 29 and will end up back at the same point in a month. Lake Erie is scheduled for next spring in 2007.

For more details on this interesting campaign, see www.motherearthwaterwalk.com

For First Nations Native art, see Free Spirit Gallery

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian has Northwest Native Art

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. opened a new exhibition called 'Listening to Our Ancestors: The Art of Native Life along the North Pacific Coast. This exhibition features over 400 items of everyday use and Northwest Native art from Washington state, British Columbia as well as Alaska. It will run through to January of 2007. For more information, see the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian website at www.AmericanIndian.si.edu

For contemporary Northwest Native art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

New Northwest Coast Indian Art Prints of Killer Whales

There's new Northwest Coast Indian art prints featuring killer whales at Free Spirit Gallery. This colorful art print called 'Sunset of Nobility' was done in 1999 by Chief Floyd Joseph who is an actual working chief of the Squamish Nation in BC Canada. It is part of a limited edition series of 180 and comes already installed by a double custom mat of black and gold to highlight the colors of the print.

See more details and images of this beautiful print at Northwest Coast Indian Art Prints.

northwest coast indian art prints

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lots of Interest for Northwest Native American Indian Art Book

Since Free Spirit Gallery made available to its website visitors a new Northwest Native American Indian art book they can download for free, there's been plenty of steady interest in it. Titled 'An Overview of Pacific Northwest Native Indian Art', the ebook (electronic book) has been getting downloaded on a regular basis from the website. Since the file size is less than a meg, most internet users, even those with dial up access, shouldn't find it too painful to download it. Of course, those with high speed internet access can download the entire ebook zip file in seconds.

Visit Free Spirit Gallery's website at www.FreeSpiritGallery for details on this Northwest Native American Indian art book.

northwest native american indian art book

Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market Includes Northwest Native Art

The Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis will feature some Northwest Native art at its annual Eiteljorg Indian Market again this year June 24-25. Last year, Tsimshian artist David Robert Boxley was a multiple winner at the event winning the 2005 Purchase Award for a drum set as well as 1st and 3rd place ribbons for his other Northwest Native art. He will attend this event again this summer. This is good news for Northwest Native art since this style of aboriginal art has been so regionalized in the Pacific Northwest with minimal exposure elsewhere. It will be a much need exposure for Northwest Native art in the midwest and hopefully a new market will soon develop starting with the visitors to the Eiteljorg Indian Market as well as the Eiteljorg Museum itself which is renowned for its exhibitions of American Indian and western art.

For contemporary Northwest Native art, see Free Spirit Gallery.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

New Northwest Native American Art Prints of Eagle and Sun

Free Spirit Gallery has received a wonderful limited Northwest Native American art print of an eagle and sun by Ron Victor LaRochelle. This print has been custom fitted with a double mat with circular opening to really bring out the nice traditional red and black Northwest Native American art colors. See more details of this piece at Northwest Native American Art Prints.

northwest native american art prints