About this object


From a collection of Northwest Coast inspired artwork produced by First Nations children at the Alert Bay Residential School during the 1968 to 1969 school year. The works were also part of an exhibition of student drawings, displayed at the Charles Sanderson Library in Toronto during 1970. Residential schools were operated by religious organizations and followed the regular provincial curriculum. The Alert Bay Residential School was operated by the Anglican Church of Canada. According to the Van Drielens, art was discouraged at the School because 'they couldn't make a living at it'.

Cultural context

student art

Physical description

Three drawings mounted on a horizontally rectangular, blue card stock and covered with clear plastic. Top drawing is of a profile bird facing to the left side in blue ink or pencil crayon on a horizontally rectangular, white-brown paper piece. The eye pupil is blue with a blank space around it enclosed in a blue circle and outlined by a tapering oval. There are two curled back crests on top of the head. The beak has a sideways u form. The neck has two u forms and a split u. There is a profile face on the belly. The four-feathered wing has various designs. The three-feathered tail has circles in ovals. There is a three digit claw. The second drawing is at the bottom left side in blue ink over pencil and with red and green pencil crayon detail. It is a frontal bilaterally symmetrical thunderbird (except for the profile head facing to the right side) with wide upspread five-feathered wings (while both wings have red accents, the left wing is green while the right wing is white). At the top, there are lightning bolts on either side of an ink inscription reading 'Its body was so large / that he made thunder / when he flew and it fished whales / like it was his own salmon'. Scribbled pen and black felt pen below. In ink, at the bottom right, reads 'Thunderbird By Glen Pollard'. Third drawing is on the right side and is of a left facing creature in a backward e-shape. Has circle in circle eye surrounded by two curvi-linear tapering ovals. There is a circle at the end of the snout. the opem mouth shows teeth and front fangs. The side fin has sideways u forms and split u's. There is a profile face on the belly. The tail has a blank dot in a blue semi-circle ending in a triangular point. In ink, at the bottom left, reads 'SEAL'.