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Henry Robertson’s Native name is “Ga-ba-gaawk”, which means “Ten Ravens”. He received instruction in the art of woodcarving in his early years from his father, Gordon Robertson, and has been carving ever since. He has, however, also pursued other occupations: logging, fishing, and railway construction.
In 1976, Robertson was invited to share his skills with Native students in Terrace, BC and this he did with enthusiasm. He has had many exhibitions in Canada and the United States. He carved the pole that stands outside the Indian Friendship Centre in Vancouver and was asked to carve a miniature pole for the late Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Robertson is responsible for the Aboriginal Pavilion at the Pacific National Exhibition, which is held in Vancouver each year.
Between 2004 and 2006, he oversaw the production of the nineteenth-century G’psgolox pole that was created for the country of Sweden as part of a repatriation deal between Sweden and Canada. He was also a member of the Haisla Totem Pole Repatriation Project, which was documented in the NFB film “Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole.”
Henry Robertson has been instrumental in the art education of his three nephews, Barry, Derek and Gary Wilson, all of whom are widely recognized carvers.