The first time I saw a totem pole I was a young girl and we had driven a few days from our northern Manitoba community through the Rocky Mountains to the east coast and I was enthralled. I remember wishing that the Haida people lived where I lived. When my children were young we spent a summer on Vancouver Island and I still can't get those beautiful images of Haida art out of my mind. Until I began painting my canoes I never thought I could honour the Haida and their art in this way.
Fortunately we don't see many cougars in the foothills but, just an hour away, my friends living in the Rocky Mountains have to watch for their young children. Even though I'm a huge cat lover, cougars do make me a little nervous. They are quiet and stealthy and always seem to be planning their next move. And they're so strong, too. They are also known in different regions as puma, mountain lion or panther. I love the fact that they absolutely trust their own instincts. As a totem animal, it symbolizes power, intention, grace and speed, and represents a balanced body, mind and spirit. All necessary in the hands of a leader.
AIRdirondack Art Project