The Story of Roy Henry Vickers Standup4Greatbear Crest

This past week my friend and accomplished native artist Roy Vickers, presented me with a logo for Standup4Greatbear. I am not calling this a logo though, I am calling it a crest, since it has a story. I wanted to introduce the new Standup4Greatbear crest here to everyone and to tell you the story of how this crest came to be.
I have always admired and felt the connection to Roy’s work and I first met him when I was employed as a guide at King Pacific Lodge in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. Roy and his friend Ray were invited guests and I had the opportunity to take them salmon fishing. We headed for the outer islands and into Kitkatla territory. You could see the pride on Roy’s face as we entered the land where he spent a lot of time and youth. He talked about fishing with his father, sharing stories and experiences that provided inspiration for some of Roy’s work. We had an incredible day on the water searching for salmon and halibut under warm, blue bird skies. We were also fortunate to see a superpod of Blackfish cruising the crystal clear waters in search of prey. As a result of his time at King Pacific Lodge and in the Great Bear Rainforest Roy created 3 limited edition prints, two of which I immediately purchased, King Pacific Lodge and King Pacific Sunset. King Pacific Sunset sold out immediately and both his pictures are visions imprinted in my mind over the years spent guiding at KPL. One, a look from the dock westwards to the lone eagle in the tree and the west coast sunset, and the other of the lodge itself, coming into the safe harbour after a long day on the water. After that season I visited Roy and his family at his beautiful home on the Skeena river. We spent the afternoon catching up and touring the stunning lands of the Hazelton area and Kispiox Valley.
I had seen Roy a few times since that season but it wasn’t until I was driving to Prince Rupert for my Standup4Greatbear expedition last May that our paths would cross again. We were both in attendance for Ali Howard’s Awakening the Skeena documentary in Hazelton. It was a packed house and after the film we had a chance to catch up as Roy wished our expedition luck. More than anyone he understood how important the Skeena watershed and waters of the Greatbear Rainforest were to keep healthy. Ali’s expedition worked to keep Royal Dutch Shell out of the Sacred Headwaters and I was trying to keep oil tankers off our North Coast. Ali’s expedition and my expedition had a common bond, Brian Huntington. Brian is an amazing man. He works for the Skeena Watershed Conservation coalition with Shannon McPhail. Their team supported Ali all 610kms and 28 days of her Skeena River swim from the headwaters far up in Northern BC to the coastal community of Prince Rupert. From there Brian called me up out of the blue to help with Standup4Greatbear. He traded in his holidays to support me by kayak(which was his first time in a sea kayak) on a 400km standup paddleboard expedition. He was, and has been an incredible teammate. Brian recently put together the trailer for our upcoming SU4GB documentary. Brian and Roy are good friends as well with connections that run deep.
On my 40th birthday last year my family gave me Roy’s Winter Solstice 2007 painting. I have always loved this picture because it’s one of Raph Bruweiler walking out into the surf in Tofino with snow falling. It reminds me of my love for surfing, Tofino, the west coast and for my connection to the ocean. Everytime I am in Tofino I stop by Roy’s gallery and I make sure that I bring people who have never been to Tofino or the west coast into his gallery. Everything you need to know or feel about our coast, our province and our country hangs on those gallery walls.
After the Standup4greatbear expedition Roy and I kept in touch and he told me he was proud of the work I was doing. I kept thinking about asking Roy to do a logo for Standup4Greatbear. I couldn’t think of anyone better who could represent what the expedition was about and what I was about through artwork. I finally gathered the courage to ask Roy and without hesitation he said yes. I was honored. Roy knew me well enough and the Great Bear Rainforest well enough to create a “crest” for Standup4GreatBear. He presented it to me last week and it took my breath away and brought forth strong emotions of pride and joy.

“Sa am Tsa Heightken,” Roy always tells me…….You Stand Well.

To Roy, thank you. I am so proud of what you have created for me and for Standup4Greatbear. I know that this crest not only represents who I am and what I do but it will inspire all of those who see it and understand it’s story and power.
Here is the crest and it’s story.
The face in the center represents those who are willing to make a stand for our mother earth. “A gray mist on the seas face and a gray dawn breaking”, is the reason for the choice of gray. The circle represents the cycle of life and the overlapping circles that continue through our lives. The spirit bear represents the natural world and reminds us that what we do to this world affects all life in this world. The tree represents life and the forest that depends on our actions. The bear tracks remind us of a life’s journey and, in the grand scheme of things, it is short.
What we do makes a difference in the world, the tracks we leave can lead others to stand up for truth, beauty, and strength of our ancestors. This creation is inspired by Norman Hann and his choice to stand up for truth, strength and beauty.- Roy Henry Vickers
Canadian artist Roy Henry Vickers is best known around the world for his limited edition prints. He is an accomplished carver, design advisor of prestigious public spaces, a sought-after keynote speaker, and publisher and author of several successful books. He is a recognized leader in the First Nations community, and a tireless spokesperson for recovery from addictions and abuse. Roy has received many awards and honours for his art and community involvement. Among them are a hereditary chieftainship and several hereditary names he has received from Northwest Coast First Nations. In 1994, Maclean’s magazine included Roy as the first artist ever in its Annual Honour Roll of Extraordinary Canadian Achievers. In 1998, the Province of British Columbia appointed Roy to the prestigious Order of B.C. and in 2003, Roy received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
For more information please visit Roy’s website at
and become a fan of his facebook page.


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