ERNEST SWANSON
  Cultural Group: Haida  
  Traditional Name: Giinowan “As a young child I was given this chief’s name and was named after my Grandmother's brother. Giinowan means a person or vessel that “holds space” for many and acts in a generous way.”
  Born: July 26, 1981
  Birthplace: King County, WA
  Currently Residing: Vancouver, B.C.
  Artist Statement

“Our culture; our heritage is born of our respectful, intimate ties with the earth and the sea. Like a forest, the roots of our people are entwined, and adversity will not cut us down. We owe our existence to Haida Gwaii. It is here on these islands, where our ancestors lived and died, that we shall live until such time as they send us the sign to join them in the next world. The generation of those living today assumes the responsibility of passing down our heritage to the generations that follow.” 
“I was raised on Haida Gwaii and deeply appreciate the traditional teachings from my grandmother.”

-Ernest Swanson

  Biography As a matrilineal descendent of iconic Haida artist such as Charles Edenshaw and a grandson to the late Rufus Moody, Ernest continues his families legacy by creating traditional Haida art. In 2004, he began to work with artists such as Jim McGuire, Christian White and his cousin, Chief Edenso “James Hart”.  Ernest assisted James Hart with carving of the Celebration of Bill Reid pole that was raised in 2009 at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver. More recently, he worked on another pole with Coast Salish artist Klatle-Bhi. Earnest works in various mediums including argillite, jewelry, drawings and wood. Ernest is respected for his cultural knowledge, has work in the collections of prestigious museums, and in 2005 received the “Emerging Artist” award from British Columbia’s Alliance of Arts and Culture.
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