Chief Alfred Joseph
1927 - 2014
Tsimshian Talking Stick
carved yellow cedar with abalone inlays and copper, circa 1978
59 x 2 1/2 x 3 in, 149.9 x 6.3 x 7.6 cm
Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000
Sold for: $3,750
Museum of Vancouver Gift Shop
Acquired from the above in 1978 by the present Private Collection, Vancouver
Derek Simpkins Gallery of Tribal Art, Vancouver, Talking Stick Exhibition, December 1993
The main crests displayed on this talking stick are (from top to bottom): Mosquito with Human and Frog, Beaver and Hawk. This is a very rare late twentieth century example of a Talking Stick.
Chief Alfred Joseph was the lead plaintiff in the 1984 landmark court case Delgamuukw-Gisday'wa v. British Columbia, which challenged the provincial government to recognize the unceded Wet'suwit'en and Gitxsan title to their traditional lands. The case formally began in 1987 and was one of the longest Aboriginal trials in Canadian history. The trial judge dismissed the case in 1991, however the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the dismissal in 1997. The Delgamuukw-Gisday'wa case significantly altered Aboriginal policy in Canada and contributed to the development of contemporary treaty negotiations in Canada.
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