Tom Greene Jr.

Heritage: Haida / Skedans Raven Clan

Tom Greene passing on the traditions to his grandson Steven

Tom was born in 1955 and raised by His Nuni Essie and Uncle Tom Green Sr. in Skidegate. Nuni was one of the old ones that lived by all the seasons. Tom learned to appreciate this important relationship with nature on Haida Gwaii. Tom recognizes many carvers for several attributes pertaining to his carving skills: Rufus Moody, Nelson Cross, Robert Cross, James McGuire, Tim Boyko and Bill Bellis. After many professional roles in the resource industry Tom returned to his craft in 1995 and began to refine his carving skills in silver & gold. In working at high risk jobs of commercial diving, fishing and falling trees, he resigned to the fact the they were not very environmentally friendly ways to exist. Later his fortunate time spent in archaeology in Gwaii Haanas allowed him more time for his passion for photography which landed some of his photos in the Museum of Man in Ottawa. During his time employed in archaeology he created many special friendships with those connecting this work to his Haida ancestors. Archaeology gave Tom a deeper understanding of "who we are" as Haida.

Tom's focus is on traditional Haida formline when deciding his cuts into metal. His typical crests of choice are the Haida Bear, Raven, Eagle, Killerwhale, Wolf, Hummingbird and Dogfish. It is particularly enjoyable for him to meet the people either by phone or in person and to discuss the desired object at hand, and gives him great satisfaction to create that piece of jewellery for the customer who has taken time to seek him out. And of course if you are in Skidegate you are welcome to visit him in his studio for that consultation. Outside his home is a tall spruce with an eagle's nest, and usually ravens, seals and the occasional whale passing by.

Written about in the:

  • Canadian Geographic - March/April 1995 issue
  • Golden Spruce by John Valiant
  • Lost World by Tom Koppel (Artia Books)

from Page 12 of "Lost World"

Tom Greene Jr., a muscular Haida tree faller, had worked closely with professional archaeologists on seaside excavations, on ships, and even as a diver on an underwater dig in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Greene looked bemused one day when discussion turned to precisely when people first arrived on the Northwest Coast. Was it 12,000 years ago, or perhaps much earlier? "All this number crunching that I hear" said Greene. "If you ask me how long we've lived on the Charlottes, I'll just say, since day one. There's nothing in our history that says we were beaten or chased away from anywhere else, we didn't chase anyone away to get here. We were here."