Beginning with the Seventies
Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

Subscribe to our mailing list
Site Search:

Reconciliation Pole

Honouring a Time Before, During and After Canada's Indian Residential Schools

James Hart

Reconciliation Pole is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. This 800-year-old red cedar tree was shipped from the island of Haida Gwaii and is being carved under the direction of master carver and hereditary chief, 7idansuu (Edenshaw), James Hart with the helping hands of Gwaliga Hart, John Brent Bennett, Brandon Brown, Jaalen Edenshaw, Derek White, Leon Ridley and late son Carl Hart, all of the Haida Nation of Haida Gwaii.

The pole will be installed on Saturday, April 1, 2017, everyone is invited to attend. Please visit for further information.

The artist and his assistants are currently finishing the pole on site at the intersection of Main Mall and Agronomy Road. Visitors are welcome to view the pole during its completion.

Reconciliation Pole joins the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, located between the Koerner Library and Barber Learning Centre, in assuring that the history of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools and what they represent in our larger history will not be forgotten.

Reconciliation Pole recognizes the complex aspects of reconciliation related to Indian Residential Schools, which were instituted by the federal government of Canada in the second half of the nineteenth century, and operated for more than 100 years, with the last school closing in 1996. Located across Canada, the schools separated an estimated that 150,000 children from their parents, families and culture. Many students died in the schools and many more suffered severe forms of psychological, physical and sexual abuse. Both Reconciliation Pole and the Dialogue Centre provide ways to develop an understanding of the history and lasting effects of the schools, not only on Indigenous peoples, but on Canadian society as a whole.

This pole is carved in the Haida sculptural tradition, which is stylistically distinct from other coastal First Nations sculptural styles, and especially those of the Musqueam and other Coast Salish people. The Musqueam are noted for their carved house posts, free-standing figures and implements such as spindle whorls. For the Haida people today, carving and publicly raising new totem poles is a way of honouring their history and ongoing cultural practices. Rather than exclusively representing Haida lineage crests and traditional narratives, however, Reconciliation Pole represents all First Nations who share the experiences that the story of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools tells.

The commissioning of Reconciliation Pole was made possible through a partnership between a private donor and UBC’s Matching Fund for Outdoor Art through Infrastructure Impact Charges.

About the artist

Born in 1952 into the Eagle Clan at Old Massett, Haida Gwaii, Haida master carver and hereditary chief 7idansuu (pronounced “ee-dan-soo”), James Hart, has been carving since 1979. He is also a skilled jeweler and printer and is considered a pioneer among Haida artists in the use of bronze casting. Hart has both replicated traditional Haida totem poles and designed his own poles and sculptures for the Museum of Anthropolgy, Vancouver, Old Massett and Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, Ottawa, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Helsingborg, Sweden, Pau, France, and Lausanne, Switzerland. Between 2009 and 2013, Hart created, designed and carved The Dance Screen (The Scream Too), a monumental sculpture that now resides at the Audain Art Museum in Whistler, James Hart was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2003, and an Honourary Doctorate of Letters by the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 2004.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


  1. Lionel Thomas and Patricia Thomas
    Untitled (Symbols for Education), 1958

UBC Outdoor Art Tour

The outdoor artworks at UBC are a source of aesthetic pleasure, commemorate histories and events, and introduce new ideas and possibilities into the campus environment. The new UBC Outdoor Art Tour features twenty-six sites including works from the University Art Collection, objects of interest, and artwork that has been commissioned or donated to specific departments and faculties. With detailed information on each work, biographical notes on the artists, a map and colour images, the tour invites visitors and members of the UBC community to experience the campus in a different way.

Self Guided Walking Tours

>> Download guide [PDF 1.8 MB]

>> UBC Outdoor Art Tour on Google Maps

>> Index of works

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


  1. Glenn Lewis, Classical Toy Boat (1987)
    Photo: Michael R. Barrick

Classical Toy Boat (1987)

Glenn Lewis

Classical Toy Boat (1987) by Vancouver artist Glenn Lewis is the most recent outdoor artwork to be installed at UBC. This sculpture was initially located outside of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery on the Toronto waterfront in 1987 as part of the exhibition From Sea to Shining Sea. It was purchased by the Belkin Art Gallery in 2009 for the University Art Collection and restored in anticipation of its new location. The site chosen for this work is the pool on the north side of University Centre (formerly the Faculty Club) designed by Frederic Lasserre with an addition by Arthur Erickson and landscape design by Cornelia Oberlander. Classical Toy Boat was purchased with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and the Morris and Helen Belkin Foundation. The installation was made possible with the support of the UBC Matching Fund for Outdoor Art. The work will add to an outdoor collection that includes recent acquisitions of works by Edgar Heap of Birds, Myfanwy MacLeod, Rodney Graham and Robert Murray. READ MORE….

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


  1. Robert Murray, Cumbria, 1966-67
    corten steel 425 x 900 x 450 cm

  2. Robert Murray's Cumbria in transit, August 2015. Photo: Owen Sopotiuk

Robert Murray's Cumbria to be restored and re-sited

Cumbria (1966–67), by Robert Murray (born Vancouver, 1936), has been removed from its site between the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and the Lasserre Building for restoration and re-siting. This monumental Minimalist sculpture, weighing approximately twenty tonnes, became compromised from corrosion of the bolts that held it together. The sculpture will be sandblasted, repainted, and then installed at a new location to be announced in the near future.

Cumbria was first exhibited at Sculpture ’67, a visual art celebration of Canada’s centennial at Toronto City Hall, and then at Battery Park in New York City. It returned to Canada in 1969 and became a featured artwork at the newly opened Vancouver International Airport. It was removed from the Airport in 1993 and put into storage. In 1995, Vancouver artist Toni Onley campaigned to have it resurrected. As it was damaged during its move to storage, Transport Canada agreed to have the sculpture re-fabricated and donated it to the University of British Columbia, the first large-scale public artwork to enter the University Art Collection since 1975.

Robert Murray is well known internationally for his large-scale steel sculptures. Another of his iconic works was recently restored in Los Angeles under the auspices of the Getty Foundation.

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689


mobile phone