Mintl-e-da-us, Wade Stephen Baker, is a North West Coast artist with a unique and inspiring story. He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in June, 1956.
Wade Baker mother, Emily Nelson Baker, is a Kwakiutl Hereditary Chief with four chieftainships. Her father, also a chief in a long line or hereditary chiefs, named her his successor at birth.
Wade is also descended from Robert Hunt and Mary Ebbits. Robert was from England, and came to the Canadian west coast with the Hudson Bay Company. He owned the Fort Rupert Hudson Bay Trading Post, and travelled the fur route extensively. He married the daughter of a hereditary Tlingit Chief from Alaska.
On his father’s side, Wade is descended from Chief Capilano, a Coast Salish hereditary Chief. His namesake is Lieutenant Joseph Baker, an officer and mapmaker on Captain Vancouver’s ship who had a son with Chief Capilano’s daughter.
Wade’s art is inspired by the great traditions passed on through his family legends, lore and links of Pacific Northwest First Nations tribal lineage and heritage. He translates these legends into red cedar, glass and steel sculptures, and he has been inspired to explore a wide range of art forms. He was chosen to design a millennium coin for the Royal Canadian Mint in the year 2000. Over 60,000 artists competed for this honour. Prince Charles also unveiled his Coast Salish North Star in advance of the Olympics in 2009 in Vancouver.
His outstanding work ‘Gateway to Ancient Wisdom’ on the North Shore Spirit Trail was formally acknowledged in the Victoria Legislature in February, 2009, and his work is in private collections internationally.