There are many groups of Native People indigenous to the coast of British Columbia. Harris Smith belongs to the people that were generally called Kwagiutl in the past, but his family originates from both Oweekeno Village and Campbell River.
Harris’ unique artistic style has been greatly influenced by his grandfather Lalkawilas, the former hereditary chief of the Campbell River Band, who taught Harris the skills of carving, painting and design. Harris proudly inherited his Grandfather’s name and he signs all of his work Lalkawilas, which means “Chief who feasts with the people until morning.” During his lifetime as a fulltime artist, Harris had won many awards for his artistic skills and creativity. His work has been sought out by collectors across Canada and throughout the world. During the 1994 Commonwealth Games, Harris was honored to have two of his wood carvings presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. These pieces are currently in the Royal Collection at St James’ Palace in London.
Harris Smith passed away in 2005, but his legacy has been carried on by his sons, Rod – Galuyagmi, Steve – Dla’kwagila, and granddaughter Rachel - ai̓xcemǧa.