The practice of using drawing and image rendering to declare rights and histories is long-standing among Nuu-chah-nulth people on the west coast of Vancouver Island. This article analyzes a collection of images created in 1916 by Douglas Thomas, a Nuu-chah-nulth man from the Tseshaht First Nation. His eldest son, Alex Thomas, sold these drawings to linguistic anthropologist Edward Sapir, who was at the time in charge of the anthropology division of the Geological Survey of Canada. The drawings depict critically important cultural information about ceremonial practices and protocols and are similar in style and content to the much larger-scale cedar screens (kiitsaksuu-ulthim) and cloth curtains (thliitsapilthim) of the same time period. By returning facsimile and digital copies to the family of origin, this research illustrates how anthropologists may play a role in fostering productive and reciprocal relationships between Native source communities and the archives that hold some of their treasured information.

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