Dr. Dolly Garza is a Kaigani Haida award winning textile artist who has made her home in Skidegate after moving to the island from Alaska more than a decade ago. Garza is skilled in the traditional Haida arts of cedar bark and spruce root basket weaving and is especially recognized for her spruce root hats and baskets, sewing and Haida applique work. She is also an accomplished ravens tail and chilkat weaver.
“Being an artist on Haida Gwaii is easy,” explained Garza. “Gathering spruce roots, cedar bark and ferns and grasses is a joy as the island has beautifully unspoiled woods to gather from. Having materials in abundance inspires me to create new pieces and the drawback is finding enough time for all I want to do.”
Garza has a Ph.D. in Marine Policy and was a professor at the University of Alaska prior to retiring and moving to Skidegate. She uses her knowledge and experience to contribute to a number of marine life commission boards. Garza also integrates her environmental knowledge into harvesting materials for her artwork and while foraging for food. She shares her knowledge with others by teaching workshops on gathering and using seaweeds.
Garza is one of many women entrepreneurs that have their business listed on Love Northern BC. November 19 is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and Northern Development is celebrating the wide array of contributions that female entrepreneurs are contributing to the culture of Northern B.C. and the well-being of its residents.