Don Yeomans

Don Yeomans is one of the most highly respected Northwest Coast artists. The quality and innovation in his work place him in the upper echelon of contemporary native artists. He is one of the most accomplished totem pole carvers working today.

Yeomans’ art can be found in numerous private and public collections. Here are some examples of his monumental contribution to the art form.

Raven and Eagle Panel

Don Yeomans Raven and Eagle Panel

McMichael Commission Totem Pole

Don Yeomans Raven and Eagle Panel

Raven and Eagle Panel, 2017
Red cedar, acrylic
This panel was created for a client in honour of his grandparents. To read the full story of this commission,
click HERE

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Vancouver International Airport Pole

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The McMichael Collection
2009
Red cedar
Kleinburg, Ontario

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Stanford University Totem Pole

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YVR Pole
2006
Red cedar, 34ft
Vancouver International Airport Pole

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Stanford Legacy Pole
2003
Red cedar, 40ft
Stanford University

Totem poles are an incredible way to narrate your story. In 2002 Don carved a 40-ft pole for Stanford University. This pole was commissioned to commemorate the Stanford Legacy, similar to the way that Haida poles traditionally communicated the histories of their owners. It chronicles the early death in 1884 of the sole Stanford heir.

• At the top of the pole Raven is depicted with another small human between his ears. This figure was included as a memorial to the sole Stanford child. Raven is shown in communication with Frog, with their tongues connecting, which can be understood to reference Raven’sability to communicate with both the supernatural and natural realms. In this case Raven specifically links the deceased with the living.

• Below this is Mrs. Stanford, who is shown here as Volcano Woman who is crying for the untimely loss of her child.

• At the centre of this pole is a human Chief figure holding a copper shield in his arms. This figure is meant to represent Mr. Stanford, the patriarch of the family, and the copper is meant to signify his status, wealth and power.

• The Bear at the base of the totem was included by Yeomans as a dig at Stanford’s collegiate rival, Berkeley College, whose mascot is a Bear. Yeomans has only carved half a Bear, as if to say that Berkeley graduates are only half the men that Stanford graduates are. The pole was carved from a 400 year old red cedar tree and stands 40’ tall.