The Spirit of Haida Gwaii is a black bronze canoe, 6 metres long and filled to overflowing with the creatures of Haida worldview. Its passengers include the Raven, the Eagle, the Grizzly and his human wife, the Mouse Woman and the Dogfish Woman, among others. Amidships stands a human being, wrapped in the stylized skin of the Seawolf, holding in his hand a smaller sculpture: a staff on which the story of creation, in Haida terms, is told. Of Haida and white parentage, Canadian artist Bill Reid has spent his life resurrecting the indigenous Northwest Coast tradition in the visual arts. Yet has never lost touch with the European media and techniques in which he was trained. He is equally famed for his totem poles and other large pieces in wood and bronze, and for his work on a minute scale in precious metal. The Black Canoe: Bill Reid and the Spirit of Haida Gwaii is the story of the sculpture known as the Spirit of Haida Gwaii. Commissioned for the courtyard of the new Canadian chancery in Washington, DC, it sits directly across the street from the National Gallery and is destined to become one of the major artistic landmarks of the capital and of the North American continent.