Drawing Item Number: Nb3.1435 from the MOA: University of British Columbia


Four drawings glued to a horizontally rectangular, yellow cardboard piece. Drawing at the top left is also glued to white card and is an image of a blue pencil crayon outlined, left facing profile seal with some details filled in with pencil alongside pencil inscription that reads 'Seal age 13 Frank Willie'. The eye is in an ovoid, the nose is circular, there are fangs with teeth, the fins have split u's, the tail has eye shapes, and there is a face on the belly. The Drawing at the top right is of a left facing profile bird outlined in blue pen with design elements filled in with pencil and with yellow, red, and green pencil crayon. The eye is surrounded by a green area with two parallel, sideways u forms behind. The six-feathered wings have green accents while the four-feathered tail has red accents. There is a face on the belly, and a three digit claw. Drawing at the bottom right shows segments of animal forms in a circular pattern including three bird heads, a dorsal fin with a face outlined in blue ink with some elements filled in with pencil and green, red, and yellow pencil crayon. Drawing at the bottom left is of a thunderbird with outstretched four-feathered wings that have each have a green split u and that are outlined in red ink. Covered with clear plastic.


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. They were also featured briefly by a local television station. 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