Paul, Tim

Paul, Tim

Tim Paul is a member of the Hesquiaht tribe from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth first nation. He is a master carver, born 1950 in the village of Zeballos in the Esperanza Inlet, BC, Canada’s Pacific Northwest Coast. He was raised by his grandparents. His grandfather was a canoe-maker and his grandmother a basket maker. So from an early age he was acutely aware of traditional culture and family history.

At the age of 11 he was suspected to have contracted tuberculosis and was sent to the Nanaimo Indian Hospital for treatment. While at the hospital he was able to watch and eventually worked with the carver Percy Jones who carved model totem poles. The man gave him a small carving knife and a piece of cedar and that is when he created his first carving. Paul attended Indian Residential school, where he lost much of his ability to speak his Indigenous language fluently. Recognizing the importance of language and the oral stories of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth people many of his carvings are created to honor the themes of language and story.

In 1975, Paul began carving at the Arts of the Raven Studio in Victoria and learned under the direction of Ben Andrews and John Livingston and soon took a job at the Royal BC museum.

Eventually he began to work under the Kwakwaka’wakw Carver Henry Hunt who managed the museum’s carving program. Following Henry Hunt’s retirement, in 1977 Tim became an assistant carver to Richard Hunt at the Thunderbird Park, Royal BC Museum. While still at the museum, 1982 he lectured at the University of BC in Vancouver. A few years later he was the first carver from outside of the Hunt family to become a senior carver.

He has held the position of First Carver at the Royal British Columbia Museum until 1992 where he oversaw numerous commissions for totem poles for international sites, such as Wakefield and Yorkshire Park in England, Stanley Park in Vancouver and in Auckland, New Zealand. He left this position to oversee an indigenous education program for the Port Alberni school board on Vancouver Island.

His work can be seen at the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Quebec and in Auckland, New Zealand as a presentation to commemorate the Commonwealth Games 1990.  Paul has also worked as the Chief Carver on projects for Stanley Park in Vancouver and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England. In 1994 he lectured at the Seattle arts museum.

His works were also showcased at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He worked together with 8 other Nuuh-chah-nulth artists to produce 2 pieces of artwork which were shown at the Olympic venues.


  • University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Field Museum, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Windsor Great Park, Windsor, England
  • Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Captain Cook Museum, Middleborough, England
  • National Film Board, Hull, Quebec, Canada
  • Department of Fisheries, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
  • Swedish Cultural House, The Ethnographic Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • House of Humwitsa, Tofino, BC, Canada


2010: BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art

Sky chief, Window of Nature, by Tim Paul

Sky chief, Window of Nature, by Tim Paul

Sky Chief, Window of Nature by master artist Tim Paul from the Hesquiaht (Nootka) Nation
$7,400.00 CDN $5,504.86 USD
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Chief over Wind Mask by Hesquiaht master artist Tim Paul

Chief over Wind Mask by Hesquiaht master artist Tim Paul

Chief over Wind Mask by Nuuh-chah-Nulth (Hesquiath) First Nations master artist Tim Paul
$4,900.00 CDN $3,645.11 USD
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