ARTIST BIO

Yasakw (Shelly Samuels)
Haida, Kwakwaka’wakw

Her name is Shelly, her Kwakiutl name is Yasakw. Her Haida name is Guudangaay Tlaatsgaa Jaad (Strong Minded Woman). She received this name because she pursued a degree in social work. She comes from the Haida matrilineal society and a long line of Yakgujanaas Raven Clan women. Her Haida clans include Raven, Three Fin Killer Whale and Dogfish. She also comes from the patrilineal Kwakwaka’wakw nation, which means you get your clan from your father. Yasakw’s Kwakwaka’wakw clans are Thunderbird, Double Headed Sisiutl, Grizzly Bear. She practices formline every single day and will continue to venture into new art forms. She currently resides on Haida Gwaii with her fiancé and two children.