Friday, March 30, 2007

Anthem Sung In Native Language At National Hockey League Game

Akina Shirt, a 13-year-old girl from Alberta, Canada, became the first person to sing the Canadian national anthem O Canada in the native language Cree at a National Hockey League (NHL) game. She is originally from the Saddle Lake First Nation near Edmonton and she learned the Cree version of the national anthem a year ago.

"I had to work extra hard in learning the words and practising it and I eventually memorized it and it just comes natural," she said.

Akina has gained a reputation as a lucky charm since each time she has sung the national anthem for the Saddle Lake Junior B Warriors hockey team, the home team has won. And sure enough this time in the big league, the home team Calgary Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-3.

For more cultural items, see Native Culture Articles. Also see Native Art.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Arctic Expedition Explores Global Warming

Dogsledder Will Steger has joined Inuit hunters and others on a three-month expedition across Baffin Island in Canada's Arctic. The trip will explore how global warming is destroying the wildlife and the lives of the local Inuit peoples. The group will travel 1,930 kilometers, stopping to interview Inuit families in five Inuit communities. Updates for will be provided online each day. After the expedition, an Inuit group will travel to Washington, D.C. to testify in Congress about global warming.

"Everyone had a story about how global warming was affecting their hunting and their lives," said Steger. "The ice is forming later and later and breaking up earlier. A lot of them are not able to get out for a lot of their hunts, especially for walrus. In a lot of these villages, 80% of their food comes from the land."

The expedition will travel by dog team from February to May 10 and updates are online.

To see a map of the region, see Arctic Map of Inuit Communities.

Also see Arctic artwork at Inuit Art.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Native Fish Carvings and Fish Sculptures for Sport Fishing Enthusiasts

Fish carvings and fish sculptures are popular decorative pieces for sport fishing enthusiasts as well as those who are interested in fish in general. If you are such a collector of fish artwork, you should consider adding a piece made by a native aboriginal artist for your home, office or lodge.

The native aboriginals of the Pacific Northwest coast make some stunning wood carvings of salmon fish which is the most important fish species in the region as a food source and as part of native culture (popular in sport fishing too). Salmon carvings are expertly carved with wonderful details and are usually presented as wall plaques. These salmon fish carvings are often painted with various colors but sometimes the pieces are finished in natural wood stains too. See examples at native aboriginal fish carvings.

The Inuit from Canada’s Arctic north also produce fish artwork. Rather than using wood, Inuit artists use indigenous stone to produce three dimensional fish sculptures. Of course, instead of salmon, these northern artists create sculptures of local based fish species such as Arctic char. Master Inuit carvers put in equally exquisite details in their fish sculptures as their Pacific Northwest coast counterparts do.

Read the rest of this interesting article with photos at Native Aboriginal Fish Carvings.

native aboriginal fish carvings sculptures

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Our Inuit Art and Native Art Gallery Mentioned

In the March/April issue of Native Peoples magazine, there's an article called 'Online Galleries Are Virtually Artistic' and our Inuit art and Native art gallery was mentioned among the more notable virtual art galleries!

This article, written by Russ Tall Chief Osage, gives a positive push for all virtual online art galleries, especially those specializing in Native art. It proves that online galleries such as Free Spirit Gallery, are definitely here to stay and are excellent sources of artwork for the Native art (and Inuit art) collector.

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Northwest Native American Art Killerwhale Orca Carvings

One of the best carvers of Northwest Native American art killerwhale orca carvings is Gary Baker and his whales always sell out fast. Gary has made several new killerwhale orca carvings for our Northwest Native American art gallery. He's made different ones with slight variations, especially with the tails. One whale carving even features a loon's head as the tail. See these wonderful pieces of artwork at Northwest Native American Art Killerwhale Carvings.

northwest native american art killerwhale orca carvings

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Salmon Fish Aboriginal Art Carvings Are In

Some of the best past sellers at our aboriginal art gallery has been the salmon fish carvings by Gary Baker. He has produced several new ones for us and they are just as nice as his previous work. Each piece is one of a kind and original if one studies the details of each piece carefully as there are little variations he put in each. He has also produced both male and female salmon fish with the female showing eggs on her belly. Customers of Free Spirit Gallery have the option of ordering one piece at the regular price or a pair at a special combo price. Check out these new salmon fish aboriginal art carvings. These salmons are part of our overall collection of aboriginal art carvings.

aboriginal art carvings salmon fish

Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Native Indian Art Representations of the United States Symbol Bald Eagle

The bald eagle is one of the most important symbols of the United States. Carvers from the Pacific Northwest have made wonderful Native Indian art representations of the bald eagle for many years and some of the newest ones were made by master carver Gary Baker recently. They can be seen at Native Indian Art Eagle Carvings.


native indian art eagle

Friday, March 23, 2007

Northwest Native American Art Bear Carvings Are In!

The first couple of new Northwest Native American art carvings by Gary Baker are finally up at the Free Spirit Gallery website! We haven't had any Native American art bear carvings for quite some time now so it is quite refreshing to have some in stock at the gallery. Gary made us a pair of them and they are beauties.

Check them out at Northwest Native American Art Bear Carvings.



Other Native American art carvings by Gary Baker will be up shortly so stay tuned.

northwest native american art carvings

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Native Carvings from Paul Joseph Also Expected This Spring

I spoke to Paul Joseph, one of our best master Northwest Native art carvers yesterday and he's still working on the native carvings for Free Spirit Gallery. He said that it will be about mid April when he finishes them all. Paul makes some very unique birds with wings spread out that I haven't seen anyone else make. These sell very quickly when they do come in. You can check out his profile at Northwest Native art carver Paul Joseph.

Meanwhile, I checked the FedEx website this morning and looks like I will be expecting Gary Baker's Northwest Native art carvings today. It will take about 2 days for me to get images and webpages set up for the new carvings. I will of course announce them on this blog when they are officially available at our native art gallery.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Northern Aboriginals Say Caribou Hunting Must Change

In remote northern aboriginal communities in Canada, hunting caribou is much like grocery shopping. Caribou, which many northern aboriginal families eat several times a week, remains a healthy and affordable meal. But now, caribou numbers are plummeting throughout the Canadian North. Five of seven herds are in decline as a sixth is suspected of shrinking and no information exists on the seventh. The largest herd, the Bathurst herd north of Great Slave Lake, has dropped from nearly 500,000 animals to 186,000 which is a decline of more than 60%. A recent summit on the crisis recommends that people whose livelihood and culture depend on the animal should limit how many caribou they kill.

"We have to be disciplined about the way we harvest," said Richard Nerysoo, chief of the northern aboriginal Inuvik Dene band. "We have to realize that has to change."

Caribou populations have always fluctuated. Some believe the current population loss is due climate change, increasing industrial activity and mining intrusions on calving grounds. But many also suggest that modern hunting is hindering the caribou's ability to recover.

See more articles on the Canadian North

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Contact Info For Inuit Art Gallery Has Not Changed

As some of you may have noticed, the contact info for the Inuit art gallery website at www.FreeSpiritGallery.ca looks a bit different. Rather than a link to the e-mail address, a contact form is now being used. This is simply to reduce the number of e-mail harvesters that spam. Contacting us through the Inuit art gallery website is just as easy as before by using this form now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

No More Northwest Native Art From Peter Charlie

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Peter Charlie's Northwest Native art. However, it has been impossible to get in touch with him and maintain any efficient communications since he does not have telephone service. The Squamish Nation office has also not been able to establish any form of effective communications between them, Peter and Free Spirit Gallery.

Despite some requests for Peter's artwork from customers over the last several months, I regret to inform everyone that Free Spirit Gallery will not be acquiring anymore artwork from Peter Charlie unless some form of effective communications are established.

This is really too bad because Peter is one of our favourite carvers as his artwork is really beautiful. Fortunately, Free Spirit Gallery continues to acquire awesome Northwest Native art from master carvers such as Gary Baker, Cody Mathias and Paul Joseph.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sold Last Ukrainian Egg in Other Art Category

We sold our last Ukrainian Pysanky egg today which was in our 'Other Art' category. We will not be getting anymore of these eggs as we want to remain focused on Inuit art and Northwest Indian art.

However, we may come up with some artwork in the future that would fit into the Other Art category.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Is Quebec Divisible? Quebec Natives Say Yes

Now that the Canadian province of Quebec is headed towards another provincial election, it is interesting to hear both the leaders of the pro-federal Liberal party and the separatist Parti Quebecois party say that in the event of a 'yes' vote from a future referendum on separation, Quebec is not divisible. That is, the borders of Quebec will remain intact whether it separates or not.

Leaders of Quebec Native aboriginals on the other hand have reacted saying that both political parties are ignorant of history as most of the land mass of Quebec is claimed by Natives. Native aboriginal leaders refuse to be dictated by any provincial government whether pro-federal or separatist. This leads me to believe that if Quebec ever separated from Canada, things will get quite messy as I'm sure Native aboriginal tribes as well as the Inuit in northern Quebec will band together and not allow their land to be part of any Quebec as a separate, sovereign nation. Any new Quebec 'army' will certainly have their hands full as the Quebecois will soon realize that a civil war can erupt.

The other interesting fact right now is that the rest of Canada is showing little interest in the Quebec election and the debates on separation.

For artwork, see Native Aboriginal Art.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

New Video on Old West Coast Native Art Fishing Hooks

A new video has been added that shows some very interesting old Native fishing hooks from the west coast. These nicely decorated fishing hooks are from the late 1700s to early 1800s and are displayed at Montreal's McCord Museum. See this short 45 second video clip at West Coast Native Art Fishing Hooks.

For other videos, see Native American Culture Videos. Also see West Cost Native Art for current artwork from talented Native artists.

Friday, March 09, 2007

New Video of Old Northwest Indian Art Haida Bowls

A new video clip showing some beautiful old Northwest Indian art Haida bowls has just been added to the Free Spirit Gallery collection of videos today. These Indian art bowls are from the late 1700s to early 1800s and are from the McCord Museum collection in Montreal.

See this video at Northwest Indian Art Haida Bowls.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

New Northwest Coast Indian Art Carvings Later This Month

The new Northwest Coast Indian art carvings including killerwhales, bears and salmons have been delayed about a month and instead of February, we expect their arrival later this month (late March). We just got a call from Gary Baker, one of the master Northwest Indian art carvers we work with and he said that his carvings are all done and he's just packing them for shipping now. So his will be the first to arrive at Free Spirit Gallery probably during the third week of March. So stay tuned.

Northwest Native American Tlingit Comic Book Superhero

Hundreds of years before comic book superheroes like the Flash and Spiderman, the Northwest Native American Tlingit had their own mythical hero, Dukt'ootl'. This superhero from Alaska has his own powers, like ripping a tree from the ground to smackdown an giant sea lion. To honor Dukt'ootl' and his powers, artist Dimi Macheras and storyteller Ishmael Hope have created an action packed comic book called Strong Man. Published by Alaska's School Board association and the Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement, 7,000 copies of Strong Man have been sent to educators around the state.

"It's really important work they're doing, bringing Native culture to more of a mass audience," said Steve Nelson from the ICE. "They've created a great message of healthy living among young people, using culture as a foundation of achievement and strength."

The comic book marries the Strong Man legend to a modern but unpopular Northwest Native American teenager named Duke. Duke's bad grades keep him from playing on the basketball team. With his coach's support, Duke cracks the books and stands up for himself. Educators hope the comic becomes part of the curriculum at many schools, especially in villages.

"From what I've seen of Native Alaskan studies in school, it could use a little more flair to grab kids' attention," Macheras said. "Yes, it's Native history, but then again, it's also the history of everybody who lives here."

For more articles on Native culture, see Northwest Native American Culture Information. To see Native artwork, see Northwest Native American Art.

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Video Clip Showing Old Pacific Northwest Coastal Tribal Masks

A new video is up showing old Pacific Northwest Coastal tribal masks and art from the late 1700s/early 1800s on display at Montreal's McCord Museum. Also on this video are rattles, a walking stick and a ceremonial hat from the Haida nation. See this new one minute and 27 second video at Pacific Northwest Coastal Tribal Masks.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What Caused the Native Indian Conflict at Caledonia

Last year, kids and adults from the Canadian Native Indian Six Nations reserve near Caledonia (about 30 minutes northwest of Toronto, Ontario) climbed over a fence and set up tents on land they claimed to belong to their people. This small piece of reclaimed land is only part of the large tract granted to them by the British government in a 1784 treaty. The treaty guaranteed that the Canadian government could not develop or build on that land without permission from the Canadian Native Indian Six Nations people. In 1992, the government sold a piece of that land to a development company called Henco. Many said the sale was illegal, but in 2005, Henco went ahead and began building luxury homes on the site. When construction began, Native Indian Six Nations people blocked the construction and pushed the tractors out. In 2006, the Ontario Provincial Police raided the site and arrested sixteen people, some of whom were teenagers. Many people, both Canadians and Americans, support the Canadian Native Indian Six Nations actions including many of the Native American and Canadian Mohawks who were involved in the Oka crisis many years ago in Quebec. John Fadden, a Native American Indian Mohawk from the Akwesasne reservation, is hoping that others will learn more about the Native Indian tribes who support this cause. “Most kids east of the Mississippi don’t know Indians are here,” John said.

For more articles on native culture, see Native Indian Information Articles. Also see Free Spirit Gallery for Native Indian Artwork.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Heard Museum Has Largest Inuit Art and Northern Native Art Collection in US

At the moment, the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona has the largest collection of Inuit art and other Northern Native art in the US. The Heard Museum received as a gift, a collection of more than a thousand pieces of art from Dr. E. Daniel and Martha Albrecht who have collected for more than 45 years. The Albrechts also spent more than 6 years traveling the Canadian and Greenlandic Arctic.

The exhibition at the Heard Museum is called Life in a Cold Place: Arctic Art from the Albrecht Collection and is expected to be on display through to July, 2007.

Also, see Free Spirit Gallery for more Inuit art and Northern Native art as well as information articles on Inuit art.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Inuit Art and Native Indian Art Gallery Now PayPal Verified

The website for Free Spirit Gallery which specializes in beautiful Inuit art and Northwest Indian art is PayPal verified. This fact will hopefully increase the confidence of potential customers when ordering artwork online. The official PayPal verified seal has been added to some of the webpages of the site to promote this.