Entwined Histories

MAISIE HURLEY
BRITISH COLUMBIA: Entwined Histories: The Maisie Hurley Collection, January 23 to August 23, North Vancouver Museum

BY: Janet Nicol

Though she wasn’t Native, Maisie Hurley (1887-1962) spent most of her career as an advocate for B.C.’s Aboriginal people, invited to join the Native Brotherhood of B.C., and founder of the Native Voice newspaper. Throughout the years, Hurley received many gifts from Native leaders in recognition of her advocacy work, and the gifts form the basis of an exhibition of artifacts and artworks from Squamish and Coast Salish cultures at the North Vancouver Museum. The collection includes a blanket made of mountain goat wool and another, more mysterious fibre. Tested at the University of Victoria, researchers discovered the fibres were from a unique breed of “wool dog” raised by the Coast Salish until the 1860s, dating the blanket from before the main period of contact. The Museum is exhibiting the blanket with a new blanket by Squamish weaver Keith Nahanee, and cedar bark regalia made by Nahanee’s cousin Tracy Williams. Co-curators Sharon Fortney and Damara Jacobs will also incorporate oral history interviews and videos with Squamish Nation elders into the exhibition, which will later tour B.C. and form the basis of a book to be published by the Squamish.

This image taken near Jericho Charlie’s home at Senákw, the Kitsilano Indian Reserve, on August 15, 1891, was the inspiration for three pastel portraits by Maisie Armytage-Moore.
Photo Courtesy of City of Vancouver Archives.

Reprinted from Galleries West, January 2011

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