I received funding in fall 2020 to pilot a 2-day beginner’s carving workshop in the Toquaht village of Macoah on the north coast of Barkley Sound. The event was a total success. It was a first step in bringing out the next group of Toquaht carvers who would like to carry this on further as a hobby, cultural practice, or even as a career. Even if people don’t end up sticking with it, that’s okay too… all participants said they had great experience! But I’m hoping it brings forth those who want to really develop the skill in the future and am planning an intermediate workshop to build on the skills we covered in the first one.
I taught participants about tools, traditional knives and non-traditional power tools. I went through different shapes, characters, animals, sceneries, and spiritual animals. We shared that carving is a traditional and cultural activity – we want to keep this going and strong in our community. The first day was an introduction, focusing on the history of carving within our Nation, the cultural words used in carving, the cultural tools too. The second day was be more hands-on. The money was mostly used for food – sandwiches, drinks etc… we’ll host this in my carving shed sometime in April or May.
I plan to continue the momentum and team up with the Toquaht Nation band office to apply for a larger grant in the future to hold a bigger and better carving seminar or course to really help those interested to take their carving to the next level and develop their cultural/artistic lives and careers.