Robert Davidson is an extremely talented multi media artist- wood carver, painter, printer, jeweler, performer- but his passion and dedication to reviving his cultural heritage is most remarkable. The Haida formline was virtually extinct when he decided to carve and raise a totem pole in his pacific northwest town of Massett, BC in 1969- the first in more than 80 years.
Since then, he has spent his life learning, creating, teaching, and connecting with his indigenous past. There is an amazing exhibit of his work going on right now at the National Museum of the American Indian in NYC, and it has some really breath taking pieces on display.
In addition to the totems, masks, and paintings, there's a great video of him preforming ceremonial dances with his troupe the Rainbow Creek Dancers, and talking about his influences and life philosophy. The Seattle Times and mother jones both wrote wonderful pieces about his background and work. Excellent reads about an excellent guy.