Tutakwisnapšiƛ (Joe Martin)

ƛaʔuukʷiʔatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) First Nation

Tla-o-qui-aht Elder and Master Carver Joe Martin has dedicated most of his life to mastering the art of the dugout canoe carving.Joe is said to be responsible for sparking the revitalization of the ancient art form in his own community and among neighbouring Nations across the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Ocean.


Joe came to visit RBCM’s First Peoples’ Gallery prior to it’s closure in early 2022. We asked Joe what should be understood and known about some of the treasures and cultural items on display in the Gallery.

“Many of these important cultural items that were said to have been ‘collected’ by peoples were actually confiscated because at the time it was illegal for our people to speak our language and hold potlatches and things like that. So a lot of things were confiscated rather than collected.” he explained.


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