Gwaai Edenshaw was born in 1977 in Skidegate, British Columbia. He is the son of Guugaaw, a writer, artist and a political and environmental activist who served as the President of the Haida nation from 2000 – 2012. He has assisted his father on numerous projects including a 40-foot totem pole for Indonesia as a gift from the Government of Canada. He has also carved several totem poles in collaboration with his brother, Jaalen.
In 2001, he assisted Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas with the illustrations of his graphic novel “A Tale of Two Shamans”, a project that encouraged him to consider a wider spectrum of Haida art. Gwaai is a founding member of the Q’altsi’da Kaa Players which produces plays written in Haida and about contemporary Haida themes. He worked on the production of Bruce Ruddell’s play “Beyond Eden”, which received a Jesse Award nomination.
Gwaai completed the jewellery art and design program at Vancouver Community College. He has worked in a wide variety of mediums including wood, bone and precious metals. Recently, he has concentrated on jewellery with casting in gold with shell and bone inlays and the Regalia collection which uses subtle etched designs derived from segments of bentwood box designs.
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