Who was Bill Reid?

Bill Reid's journey


Photo: Bill Reid's ashes being carried in a canoe at his funeral UBC MOA 1998

Bill Reid's ashes being carried in the prototype canoe for “Lootaas”
Great Hall of the Museum of Anthropology, UBC
Vancouver, BC
Photo: Uwe Meyer
Reproduced in Shadbolt, 1986: 192
Used with permission from the publisher, Douglas & McIntyre, now D&M Publishers

Photo: Bill Reid's burial box in “Lootaas” arrives at Tanu

Bill Reid's burial box in “Lootaas,” arrival at Tanu
Tanu, Haida Gwaii
Photo: Reinhard Derreth

1994: (age 74)
In his lifetime Bill Reid received nine honorary degrees from Canadian universities, and many awards, among them: Molson Award (1976); Diplôme d’ Honneur for Services to the Arts (1979); Ryerson Fellowship (1985); Bronfman Award for Excellence in Crafts (1986); Vancouver Lifetime Achievement Award, Freeman of the City of Vancouver (1988); and the Royal Bank Award (1990).

In 1994, he was the first recipient of the National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the Royal Architectural institute of Canada’s Allied Arts Medal, and the Order of British Columbia. In 1998, he was awarded the Bill Mason Award, Canadian River Heritage System.

1998: (age 78)
Bill Reid died in Vancouver, on March 13, at age 78, after a courageous 30-year battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Over a thousand people attended an eight-hour service in UBC’s Museum of Anthropology to pay tribute to Bill Reid. In a stately procession, his ashes were carried to the front of the Great Hall, in his early prototype canoe for “Lootaas.”

Following his last wishes, his ashes were transported by friends and relatives to Tanu in “Lootaas,” (a two-day paddle from Skidegate), and partly scattered and interred in Tanu.