Norman Tait

Norman Tait's interest in Nisga'a art was sparked through the family traditions and oral histories that he experienced as a boy. He was the son of acclaimed carver Josiah Tait, and was the brother of Chief Alver Tait, who is also a celebrated Nisga'a carver. Norman went to a Residential School in Edmonton, AB, completed high school in Prince Rupert, BC, and then had a brief career as a millwright. In 1973, he established himself as a wood carver with the production and raising of the first Nisga'a pole in over fifty years, which he carved with his father. From that time, he carved a pole for the Field Museum in Chicago, IL, in 1982, a pole for Britain's royal family that stands in Bushy Park in London, and numerous poles around Vancouver. In 2012, Norman was given the British Columbia Creative Lifetime Achievement Award in Aboriginal Art. In addition to being a carver in metals and woods, Norman was also an expert on Nisga'a art and culture. From the mid 1970s, Norman travelled throughout BC and around the world in order to research Nisga'a art and history. He was also one of the few practicing shamans among the Nisga'a.