Interested in learning a bit more about our beautiful new logo?
In late 2022, the Coastal Nations Fisheries logo was created by Northwest Coast artist Shawna Kiesman. Born in Prince Rupert and raised in Victoria, Shawna’s mother is Tsimshian with Nisga’a ancestry and her father is Haida with German ancestry.
When asked about her inspiration for the logo, Shawna says she based the design on the copper shield because it’s such a strong symbol that all coastal Nations share.
“The copper represents wealth but it is also gifted between Nations,” she explains, adding that the eight connected lines within the shield could represent ribs, but also the shared priorities and core foundation of the eight Nations working together.
“I also added salmon, because it is a main food source for all coast Nations,” says Shawna, “and the anchor represents the coast in a more contemporary symbol.”
More About Shawna Kiesman
A graduate from Vancouver’s Blanche MacDonald Centre, Shawna received two Diplomas in Make-up Artistry and Fashion Merchandising, where she had a career in Visual Merchandising until she decided to pursue a personal journey with her Tsimshian identity and attend Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in 2014.
While attending Freda Diesing School, Shawna learned to carve and develop her design skills, and she graduated with a Diploma in First Nations Fine Arts. She transferred to Emily Carr University of Art & Design, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019.
Shawna has also received several awards, including the 2016 BC Arts Council Scholarship and 2016 Audain Entrance Foundation Scholarship, and was Artist-in-Residence at Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge, where she was able to work on her professional development and meet other artists in the community. She continues to develop her own practice in design, painting and works as a team with her mother, Justina Kiesman, creating regalia for their family.
Every piece Shawna creates is a process of learning her culture and reclaiming an identity that had been lost. She has ancestors from three strong Nations and feels a deep connection to each of them.
As a First Nations artist, it is important to her to fully understand all the complexities of the art form in each of these Nations, including understanding and learning protocols, stories, and the meanings of the visual language. Shawna will continue to produce artwork for her family, home and Nations; it fulfills her to know these works will live on in a cultural setting, as they had always been intended to be.