What unites many contemporary British Columbia First Nations artists is an understanding and admiration for materials, a demonstrated commitment to excellence, and a reverence for ancestral works of art. Ceremonial masks have always been an integral part of First Nations culture
Coastal First Nations people have been creating art since time immemorial. Historically, visual art was spiritual in nature and utilized in traditional cultural ceremonies within their communities. Each First Nation has approached the act of cultural expression in a different way depending on their access to raw materials and their belief systems. Many forms pay homage to their ancestors.
This gallery of First Nations Art is unique within Canada. It represents exceptional insight into the creative and culturally sophisticated minds of the Coast Salish (coast say-lish), Gitxsan (gicks-san), Haida (hy-dah), Haisla (highs-la), Heitsulk (helts-uk), Nuu-chah-nulth (new-cha-nulth),Tlingit (tling-it), and Tsimshian (sim-she-an) artists of the past collected by Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa.