A traditional carved mask depicting the Huxhukw

Stolen mask recovered in Alert Bay

Private collector surrenders carved Huxhukw to RCMP; suspect arrested.

ALERT BAY—A traditional carved mask stolen here last week has been recovered and a suspect arrested, Alert Bay RCMP announced today.

A private collector voluntarily surrendered the mask to the Alert Bay detachment Wednesday, said Cst. Andrew Curtis. Later that evening, a suspect was identified and arrested before being released on a Promise to Appear at Port Hardy’s Provincial court Nov. 12.

He faces charges of breaking and entering, theft and public mischief. As the charges have not yet been sworn, the man’s name cannot be released at this time, Curtis said.

The collector who surrendered the mask will not be charged.

“Due to circumstances, they will not be facing any charges of possession of stolen property obtained by crime,” Curtis said.

The mask depicts the Huxhukw of the Hamatsa dance series, and is used in potlatches and other Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial events.

It was discovered missing from a shed at the owner’s residence on Sept. 19. RCMP were called and began their investigation that day.

The use of these mask carvings in ceremonies were prohibited in Canada from the late 1800’s until 1951, and during that time many were seized. These masks hold special cultural and historical significance to the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples today.

“The Alert Bay RCMP would like to thank the public and media for their assistance in solving this crime,” Curtis said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Hardy called in record number of black bear sightings last year

Conservation Officers attended 74 of the 314 calls made

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Ruined picnic tables are the main damage

Port McNeill’s outdoor swimming pool will stay closed this summer

The Town of Port McNeill typically hires 12-13 staff for the pool every year.

Bird contacting wires causes massive Port Hardy power outage

The power outage started at 1:18 p.m. and lasted until 3:00 p.m.

Port Hardy Salvation Army serving lunch daily during pandemic

Centre is closed to the public, but overnight shelter, daily lunch and one-on-one services available

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Most Read