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The Way Home

The Way Home

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 The Art Gallery of Hamilton's March Book Club Selection!

  • 200 pages
  • Paperback
  • 8 x 10"
  • 100 Colour photos
  • 37 Black & White photos

David Neel was an infant when his father, a traditional Kwakiutl artist, returned to the ancestors, triggering a series of events that would separate David from his homeland and its rich cultural traditions for twenty-five years. When he saw a potlatch mask carved by his great-great-grandfather in a museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the encounter inspired the young photographer to rekindle a childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of his father.

The Way Home is an uplifting tale that affirms the healing power of returning home. It is also a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome great obstacles, and to the power and endurance of Indigenous culture and art.

This memoir is a must-read for anyone interested in Canadian art and artists, particularly Indigenous art, as well as those learning about or active in cultural revitalization in Indigenous communities. 


  • 2020, Short-listed - Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, The Writers' Trust of Canada

David A. Neel, carver, jeweller, painter, printmaker, writer, and photographer, comes from a family of traditional Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw artists, including Dave Neel Sr., Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin, and Charlie James. In addition to apprenticing with carvers in Alert Bay, he received training in writing and photography from the University of Kansas and Mount Royal College in Alberta. He is the author of Our Chiefs and Elders: Words and Photographs of Native Leaders (1992) and The Great Canoes: Reviving a Northwest Coast Tradition (1995). He is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw traditional art and culture.

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