The raising of this commemorative pole is scheduled for January or February 2019 in the community of Bella Bella.

The Haida and the Heiltsuk Nations have a long, complex and entwined history. A history that includes war, trade, intermarriage and treaty-making. In the 1800’s both Nations stopped warring by establishing an oral treaty and in 2014, the Treaty of Peace, Respect, and Responsibility, was renewed at two ceremonies – the first in Old Massett and the second in Bella Bella.

This pole, which is based on reciprocity and respect, will be the first pole raised in Bella Bella by the Haida Nation and at a later date the Heiltsuk will also carve a pole that will be raised on Haida Gwaii, both poles will celebrate the relationship between the two Nations.

The Hereditary Chiefs Council will facilitate the selection of a Haida carver through a competitive proposal process and then authenticate the final product – a 30ft commemorative Haida pole. The project includes funding for the tree, the carvers time spent carving, as interpreters and as consultants during the pole raising as well as the end product – the pole.


Project component Total funding

Commemorative pole costs including the tree and its delivery to the community of Old Massett or Skidegate, the carver(s) + apprentices time and all equipment and expenses related to completion of pole





Transportation to be arranged to get the pole to Bella Bella by ferry and the carver’s will be required to be in Bella Bella one week prior to the pole raising in order to ensure that the pole is prepared for raising in front of the Bighouse.






Dates Activity
March 19 – April 27, 2018 ·       Competitive process undertaken and Haida carver selected
April 23 – May 18, 2018 ·       Tree selected, transported to carving space at in Old Massett or Skidegate and carving begins
May 21 – December 31, 2018 ·       Pole carving in Old Massett or Skidegate.

·       Film and photographic recording of project for sharing more broadly through Internet and other new media tools (ie. Interactive displays)

·       Potentially having Heiltsuk carvers participating in the carving – this will be a decision of both the Chief’s tables.

January 5 – February 28, 2019 ·       Specific date to be determined by the Heiltsuk Nation.

·       Raise the pole in Bella Bella.


What is to be Included in your Proposal Package


The objective of the project is to raise a commemorative pole in Bella Bella that celebrates the Treaty of Peace, Respect and Responsibility that was signed between the Haida Nation and the Heiltsuk Nation in 2014.  

The winning proposal will best exemplify:

  1. a) one human figure on the pole to represent the ancestors of the Haida and Heiltsuk Nations.
  2. b) there are to be no crests from the Haida or the Heiltsuk Nation carved on the pole.

Each proposal must include:

  1. Name and contact information for LEAD Carver (Artist bio preferred)
  2. Conceptual drawing(s) of pole design – both front and side view – suitable for jury review on 11” x 14” A written description of how your pole design meets the artistic direction provided for the project samples of previous totem pole/wood sculpture carving (including references)
  3. Commitment to hire Haida apprentices
    Agreement to carving on site at the site as determined by the master carver either in Old Massett or Skidegate.
    Commitment to 100% completion of pole by January 5, 2019.All the above information must be contained in a sealed envelope and addressed as follows;
    Haida – Heiltsuk Commemorative Pole Project
    Attention – Hereditary Chiefs Council

 The completed application package be submitted to the CHN offices in;

  1. Old Massett: Attention – Denise Thiessen
  2. Skidegate: Attention – Remi Levesque

Deadline for Proposals:   4:00 pm – April 27, 2018

 Selection Process

  • The winning proposal will be selected by the Hereditary Chiefs Council.
  • Proposals will be screened to ensure all items requested, are included in the proposal.
  • The members of the panel will:
  1. be provided with conceptual drawings and written descriptions without reference to who the artist is.
  2. rank each proposals ability to convey (through the drawings and written description) a concept that best achieves the desired objective as outlined above.
  3. review the bio and letter of confirmation of the lead carver of each of the top 3 proposals and make decisions on any changes to the ranking of the top 3.
  4. Contact references and make decisions on any changes to the ranking of the top 3.

Offer the pole commission to the lead carver of the top-ranked proposal.

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