Paul Willie

Oil on Canvas, 30 x 36, 1983
Paul Willie
1944-
Chief, Leader, Health Educator
Kwakiutl (also known as Kwakwaka’wakw)

Paul Willie
  • Born in Gilford on Vancouver Island.
  • One of four hereditary chiefs of Kingcome at Kingcome Inlet.
  • Band manager of Dzawada’enuxw in 1995.
  • Head of Biochemistry Laboratory at the Royal Columbia Hospital in New Westminster.
  • Head of health services at Alert Bay.

Born in Gilford on Vancouver Island, Paul Willie is a Kwakiutl of the Datowadeno tribe and a hereditary chief of one of the four tribes of Kingcome Inlet. At the time Logie painted his portrait, Willie was the head of the Biochemistry Laboratory at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia, and later became the head of health services at Alert Bay. Ultimately, he returned home to act as the band treaty manager for the Oweekeno community, campaigning for reliable access to health care and respect for traditional beliefs. Through his work and duties, Willie serves as a role model for both traditional and modern outlooks, harmonizing seemingly disparate ways of life. In his interview with Logie, Willie cited the value of common sense and open-mindedness, relating his determination to lead through love and service, and reconciling the two worlds in which he lives.

For more information about First Nations in B.C., resources available at UBC, or information about these individuals, visit the Resources section.