Article Link: North Columbia Monthly

Shawn Brigman Ph.D., Owner of Salishan Art and Architecture, Salishan Sturgeon Nose Canoes

Shawn is an enrolled member of the Spokane Tribe of Indians and descendant of regional Salish bands (San Poil, Arrow Lakes, Colville, and Shuswap). As a traditional artisan for 11+ years, Shawn has continuously been involved in a diverse array of high caliber cultural recovery projects dating back to 2005. During this time he worked on project based ancestral recovery efforts in Eastern Washington State, North Idaho, and British Columbia, exploring and transforming the way people read Plateau architectural space by celebrating the physical revival of ancestral Plateau architectural heritage. 

This involves working with communities to connect to sources of indigenous knowledge, often taking them out to ancestral lands to explore and gather materialities for ancestral structures like tule mat lodges, pit houses, and most recently sturgeon nose canoes.

Sturgeon nose canoe shapes, construction techniques, and other characteristics are generated from centuries old local patterns. Although there is diversity within the styles of northern Plateau sturgeon nose canoes, the principles of construction are the same and often the styles overlap with only subtle differences.