2008 Lifetime Achievement Award

Mary Michell
Burns Lake, BC

Mary MichellAboriginal artist Mary Michell has been named by Premier Gordon Campbell and Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, as the recipient of the 2008 BC Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art. The award recognizes BC First Nations artists whose dedication to their work has had a profound impact on both their community and First Nations culture.

"Mary Michell is an inspiration to her community, First Nations and all British Columbians," said Premier Campbell, a director of the Foundation. "She has demonstrated a lifelong pursuit of artistic excellence and she is very deserving of this prestigious award."

"Mary has been producing beautiful crafts and clothing her entire life, and the BC Achievement Foundation is thrilled to present the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award to such a deserving artist," said Keith Mitchell.

Mary Michell is an 82-year-old Carrier artist from Burns Lake. Her work includes using moosehides and beads to create beautiful crafts and clothing. She began to learn how to prepare and tan moosehides at the age of 13 and has continued to make crafts her entire life. She creates all her work by hand, and each item can take up to three weeks to complete. Through the traditional clan system, Michell has created wedding dresses, vests, jackets, purses, mukluks, moccasins and gloves.

In May 2008, Mary presented the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Steven Point (Xwe li qwel tel), with a jacket she made. Other dignitaries who wear jackets made by Michell include: Department of Indian Affairs Minister David Crombie; First Nations politician Elijah Harper; Grand Chief Ed John; Tribal Chief Justa Monk, Tribal Chief Joseph Michell; and Nisga'a politician Harry Nyce.

Click here to see Mary's bio.

Michell's lifetime of accomplishment will be honoured in conjunction with the presentation of the BC Creative Achievement Awards for Aboriginal Art, a juried competition launched in 2007 to recognize the important role of First Nations art in British Columbia's history and cultural identity. The event takes place on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Vancouver.

Mary Michell

Thank you


Many thanks to Cathi Charles Wherry, Arts Program Coordinator, of the First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council who provided tremendous assistance in the establishment of the award.

British Columbia Achievement Foundation
T. 604.261.9777 | Toll Free 866.882.6088 (in BC)
E. info@bcachievement.com

Lifetime Achievement Award

2018 award recipient

2017 award recipient

2016 award

2015 award

2014 award

2013 award

2012 award

2011 Award

2010 Award

2009 Award

2008 Award

2007 Award