Charles Skinner



Prince Rupert, BC

Charles' traditional name, Bayt-Xtsihatsi, meaning “Bear bit the fish in half”, sits on the mountain peak between Gitxsan territory and Nisga'a Nations. His first artistic influences were his great-grandfather, James Angus, his grandfather, Bert Nelson, and Charlie Littlewing. He is inspired by artists, Dempsey Bob, Joe Calder, Henry Kelly, and other artists from Northern BC. In 1993, Charles completed a drum making class, which planted a seed that carving would be a path for him. With encouragement from artist, Henry Kelly, Charles began doing art professionally in 2003, always staying true to his spirit and to traditional art forms. A recent project of his was a series of twenty traditional drums created as a wedding gift for his son. Charles is constantly learning and using new mediums. He takes great pride in his ability to adapt, evolve and live his traditional name, his teachings and traditions. He is most drawn to working with old growth yellow cedar, appreciating the feeling of the knife gliding through hundreds of years of knowledge and growth. The Jijawit side of Charles' family were originally from Tlingit and Tahltan territories. They came to Gitxsan territory for the Fur Trade, during which there was a two-year storm that prevented them from returning home. This is how the Jijawit became Gitxsan. As of 2012, there were less than one-hundred living members. There is a totem pole that depicts his family's history beside the Hazleton BC Museum. A frog sits at the top, one hand facing inwards and the other facing outwards, saying good-bye to half of their family.