Who was Bill Reid?

Perspectives on Bill Reid

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Dr. Martine Reid
"Bill has always been Haida by birth"

Toward the end of his life, then he feels entitled because he had potlached his people, he has actually carved a totem, that he has gifted to the Skidegate people, his mother's relatives would no longer feel Haida without a pole, and so he has engaged his fellow Haidas in the tradition of being Haida. And the chiefs had to respond to that. And this led to a succession of events during which Bill became more involved in Haida matters, and which has been perceived as Bill becoming Haida. I mean Bill has always been Haida by birth. His mother was Haida, and his grandmother was from the Wolf clan of Tanu, and he always knew that.

Dr. Martine Reid, independent scholar, author and curator, interviewed at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, 2008.