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Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an award-winning visual contemporary artist, author and professional speaker. His work has been seen in public spaces, museums, galleries and private collections across the globe. Institutional collections include the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery. His large sculptural works are part of the public art collection of the Vancouver International Airport, City of Vancouver, City of Kamloops and University of British Columbia. Yahgulanaas's publications include national bestsellers Flight of the Hummingbird and RED, a Haida Manga. When not writing or producing art, Yahgulanaas pulls from his 20 years of political experience in the Council of the Haida Nation and travels the world speaking to businesses, institutions and communities about social justice, community building, communication and change management. His most recent talks include the American Museum of Natural History and TEDxVancouver.

Yahgulanaas became a full-time artist after many decades working in the Haida Nation's successful campaign to protect its biocultural diversity; however, he began to play as an artist much earlier. As the descendant of iconic artists Isabella Edenshaw, Charles Edenshaw and Delores Churchill, his early training was under exceptional creators and master carvers of talented lineage. It wasn't until the late 1990s after an exposure to Chinese brush techniques, under the tutelage of Cantonese master Cai Ben Kwon, that he consciously began to merge Haida and Asian artistic influences into his self-taught practice, and innovated the art form called "Haida Manga."

Haida Manga blends North Pacific Indigenous iconographies and framelines with the graphic dynamism of Asian manga. It is committed to hybridity as a positive force that opens a third space for critical engagement and is weaved through his art, books and speeches. Haida Manga offers an empowering and playful way of viewing and engaging with social issues as it seeks participation, dialogue, reflection and action.

Yahgulanaas's visual practice encompasses a variety of different art forms including large-scale public art projects, mixed media sculptures and canvases, re-purposed automobile parts, acrylics, watercolours, ink drawings, ceramics and illustrated publications. Exploring themes of identity, environmentalism and the human condition he uses art and speaking opportunities to communicate a world view that while particular to Haida Gwaii - his ancestral North Pacific archipelago - is also relevant to a contemporary and internationally-engaged audience.

Influenced by both the tradition of Haida iconography and contemporary Asian visual culture, Yahgulanaas has created a practice that is celebrated for its vitality, relevancy and originality.

A Tale of Two Shamans: A Haida Manga
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; University/College;

The brilliant follow-up to War of Blink and RED: A Haida Manga — another stunningly inventive retelling of an ancient Haida tale.

Notes on a Tale of Two Shamans - ga Sraagaa sdang from the author: 

"The work that you are about to read is old, much older than any of us still living. It is probably older than anything one could even call Canadian. It precedes us all. Obviously I am not the primary creator of such a narrative, but as a Haida citizen, it is an ancestral experience. The strength of owning a thing is often expressed as a right to share it. In this retelling we the illustrators, editors, linguists, curators and indeed the community of living Haidas and friend invite you to join with us. Come as a respected guest. Sit at the table and be nourished by our living culture. This story is a blend of accounts recorded at the turn of the nineteenth century in three of the once numerous dialects of the Haida language. I have combined elements from these accounts into a newly constructed whole. Be cautioned that these images are interpretations informed by my own cultural composition and life experiences. This is a contemporary rendering of a worldview first expressed in different times and probably for different reasons. I am not stepping forward to join that dais filled with authorities claiming to represent those distant times. I am a Haida whose life experiences are probably very similar to [that of] your own. In many respects that greater distance between the first tellers of ga Sraagaa sdang and ourselves, makes us both readers. The first part of my telling of ga Sraagaa sdang comes from Sk’a.aaws. This is an ancient town site located along the eastern border of a forested region called Duu Guusd. Duu Guusd is part of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago still held until recently in its colonial embrace as the Queen Charlotte Islands. The other old source of telling is Skedans. This old town is located in the Gwaii Haanas Haida Heritage Site, an area also currently reserved as a Canadian National Park. I have restrained from writing an extensive opinion, instead limiting my retelling to a brief text and illustrations. This should suffice to give the engaged reader a hint of the amazing concepts which ripple through this shamanic tale and remain a substantial element of that dynamic living society of indigenous peoples called Haida." - Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Reviews
“This Haida manga intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility… Yahgulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people.” —Publisher’s Weekly

Educator Information
Recommended for ages 14+ 

May contain mature content.

Additional Information
72 pages | 7.00" x 8.50" 

 

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$24.95

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Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 11; 12; University/College;

“The ragged edges of the temperate rainforest reach far out onto an island in the western seas. It is a place where one chooses to go ahead or turn back…” 

In a prequel to the award-winning Red: A Haida Manga, acclaimed artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas blends Asian manhwa/manga with the Haida artistic and oral tradition in another stunning hand-painted volume. 

In a small near-future community perched between the ocean and the northern temperate rainforest, a series of disasters is taking a heavy toll. It is early fall and a fuel spill has contaminated the marine foods the village was preparing to harvest. As food supplies dwindle, a small group decides to make a late-season expedition to search for sea lions. Surprised by a ferocious storm, they abandon one man, Carpe, on an isolated rock at sea. After ten days they are finally able to return, but he has vanished. The story follows Carpe’s encounters with the Lord of the Rock, who demands retribution for Carpe’s role in the hunt, and Carpe’s fate in the half-life between human and animal, life and death.

Additional Information
120 pages | 10.00" x 10.00" | 100 colour illustrations

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$29.95

Coming Soon
Flight of the Hummingbird
Format: Hardcover

The hummingbird parable, with origins in the Quechuan people of South America, has become a talisman for environmentalists and activists who are committed to making meaningful change in the world. In this inspiring story, the determined hummingbird does everything she can to put out a raging fire that threatens her forest home. The hummingbirdósymbol of wisdom and courageódemonstrates that doing something is better than doing nothing at all.The parable is embraced by two of the worldís most influential leaders: Wangari Maathai, the Nobel Peace Prize winner from Kenya who launched the Green Belt Movement (which you can read about here), and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who has spoken widely about his commitment to preserving the environment. This courageous little book features artwork by internationally renowned artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. His distinct and lively Haida Manga style engages perfectly with this inspirational story that encourages every individual to act on behalf of the worldís limited and precious resources.

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$18.00

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Red: A Haida Manga
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;

Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this stunning full-colour graphic novel documents the powerful story of Red, a leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction.

Set in the islands off the northwest coast of B.C., it tells the tale of orphan Red and his sister, Jaada. When raiders attack their village, Red, still a boy, escapes dramatically. But Jaada is whisked away. The loss of Jaada breeds a seething anger, and Red sets out to find his sister and exact revenge on her captors.

Red blends traditional Haida imagery into a Japanese manga-styled story. Tragic and timeless, it is reminiscent of such classic stories as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth and King Lear.

This innovation in contemporary storytelling consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations. When arranged in a specific order, the panels of the narrative create a Haida formline image four metres long. The sequence for this complex design is displayed on the inside jacket.

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$19.95

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War of the Blink
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

“This Haida manga intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility… Yahgulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people.” —Publisher’s Weekly

The brilliant follow-up to RED: A Haida Manga — another stunningly inventive retelling of an ancient Haida tale.

The latest offering from acclaimed graphic artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, War of the Blink is a stunning full-colour graphic novel about war and peace.

It is the story of a fisherman who suspects a party of raiders is descending upon his island home. When his warnings are not heeded, the man sets out to guard the village on his own, only to find himself caught up in a high-stakes game of kidnap and bluff.

All this leads to a final showdown, in which one of the sides must blink first—and the villagers find a surprising way to save face and their home, and avoid bloodshed.

Combining traditional Northwest coast and Japanese comic art in Yahgulanaas’ own, dizzingly original mish-mash, War of the Blink is a timeless fable about the bravery it takes to choose peace over war.

An earlier version of the artwork was displayed at the Vancouver Art Gallery a part of the groundbreaking exhibition “Raven Travelling.”

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$24.95

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Le Vol Du Colibri
Format: Hardcover

Le colibri est symbole de sagesse et de courage. Dans ce touchant récit, héritage des tribus Quechan et Haïda, sur la côte du Pacifique, le colibri tenace et déterminé affronte un incendie qui menace de détruire la forêt. Le Vol du colibri nous rappelle l’importance de cheminer à petits pas si l’on veut accomplir de grandes choses. La persévérance est bien souvent synonyme de réussite, même pour les plus petits d’entre nous.

Ce texte est une source d’inspiration pour les environnementalistes. Magnifiquement illustré par Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, traduit et présenté par Richard Desjardins, l’auteur-compositeur également connu pour ses prises de position en faveur de l’environnement et des Premières Nations, avec une postface de Sa Sainteté le Dalaï Lama, Le Vol du colibri propose une réflexion sur le caractère éphémère des ressources de notre Terre et sur l’importance de les utiliser avec parcimonie.

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$16.95

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The Canoe He Called Loo Taas
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Haida;
Grade Levels: 2; 3;

Loo Taas is the amazing 50-foot canoe designed by legendary artist Bill Reid, and carved by members of the Haida community. Her name means "Wave Eater." This is the story of how she came to be through the eyes of the designer's daughter. This is the story of Loo Taas.

In 2009, Loo Taas was the alternative mode of transportation for the Olympic Torch while touring on Haida Gwaii. Elder Percy Williams was the torchbearer.

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$12.99

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The Little Hummingbird
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: Preschool; Kindergarten; 1; 2; 3;

This inspiring children's book-a revised edition of the awardwinning Flight of the Hummingbird-is based on a South American indigenous story about a courageous hummingbird who defies fear and expectations in her attempt to save the forest from fire. The illustrated story is supplemented by a natural and cultural history of hummingbirds, as well as an inspiring message from Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. The evocative artwork by internationally renowned Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas complements the optimistic tale that encourages everyone to take responsibility for their home and the planet.

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$18.95

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