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Art auction will provide funds for meal program

Works by Carl Beam, Stephen Snake discovered earlier this year
Two of the Carl Beam pieces being sold through an auction at (Mike Thomas/Yukon Arts Centre)

The discovery of original artwork by Carl Beam, Stephen Snake and other well-known Indigenous artists earlier this year will mean more meals for members of the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre.

The artwork was discovered in boxes earlier this year at the centre. It was found the artwork had been donated in 1997.

Beam, who died in 2005, was among the first contemporary Indigenous artists to have work featured at the National Gallery of Canada. It was noted in a statement that he was part of the M’Chigeeng First Nation, located on Manitoulin Island in Ontario, and his work had a major impact on the art sector and provoked many conversations about the Indigenous experience in Canada.

Much of the artwork is being sold through an online auction at with the proceeds going to the Skookum Jim Friendship Centre’s meal program along with future shared programming between the centre and Sundog Veggies, aimed at improving food security and opportunities for land-based skills.

“I know Carl would be really happy to have his gifts of artwork being shared in a way that will touch so many people’s lives at this time,” Joe Migwans, a long-time Yukoner and cousin of Beam’s, said. “His work has powerful messages and they are even more relevant today.”

Along with the artwork, the auction also has a number of other goods donated by Whitehorse businesses and groups.

“The discovery of this important artwork during this year of significant hardship has been a very welcome surprise,” Skookum Jim’s executive director Bill Griffis said. “We feed hundreds of Yukoners each week. Knowing that they walk away with warm food in their stomach helps us maintain our vision of spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical well-being for everyone.”

The online auction is scheduled until Dec. 18.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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