Looking for Lucy Homiskanis, Confronting Emily Carr
Restorying Nature, Gender, and Belonging on the Northwest Coast
Keywords:Kwakwaka'wakw, Emily Carr, George Hunt, women
Told in a first person narrative, this article invites readers to reconsider popular representations of nature via a gendered reading of contemporary northwest coast social and cultural spaces. The author takes the reader through spaces she navigates in everyday life, as a Kwakwaka'wakw descendent of Lucy Homiskanis -- wife of George Hunt, whose collaborations with anthropologist Franz Boas comprise key texts in the history of modern anthropology. While seeking more historical information on the key contributions of her great-great-grandmother, the author instead encounters the incessant celebration of settler artist Emily Carr, whose portrayals of a vast coastal wilderness are now lauded as synonymous with Canadian identification with nature. What can we learn about settler colonial place-making from these encounters with the relentless celebration of Carr and the near complete marginalization of Lucy beyond the frame of BC history?