Roy Henry Vickers

Guardian of the Pass

  • Guardian of the Pass

Roy Henry Vickers

Guardian of the Pass


Guardian of the Pass is a limited edition print or serigraph from 1987, with an edition size of 50, by Roy Henry Vickers, Tsimshian First Nations Artist from the Pacific Northwest Coast.

"Even as we flew over the lush valleys and deep gorges carved below us, I could feel the bristle of anticipation. We were now only feet above a huge expanse of white, a glacier miles long stretching before us. The remote, vast and rugged area that is the West Coast of British Columbia has engulfed us for more than an hour now. Our destination was Owikeena Lake, a land that takes you back in time.

My friend, and very necessary guide on this trip, was Ted Walkus, hereditary Chief of the Owikeeno tribe at River's Inlet. He had told me of an old legend of his people, of a powerful guardian who had protected his ancestral village when their village site had been at the North end of Owikeeno Lake. The set- tlement is presently found on Owikeeno River just before it empties into Rivers Inlet on the Pacific Ocean.

His story was of ‘The Guardian of the Pass', a huge stone eagle at the narrows of Owikeeno Lake. It is said that the eagle would oversee all who travelled throughout the narrows. Those of good will were allowed to pass; those who came as enemies would be crushed by his enormous stone wing.

The cruel, clean glacier dropped sharply below us. We were now suddenly thousands of feet above a long, green finger of water. Within minutes, we were taxiing on the choppy, glacier waters of Owikeeno Lake.

The plane turned into the wind and there before us was the stone eagle. The narrows of Owikeeno Lake are only a few hundred yards wide and the guardian strikes an imposing figure as he watches you pass below. He is so prominent, so real. I was glad I had come as a friend.

I could feel his eye watching me as I photographed the scene. I sensed the painting already - a feeling of urgency, a story to be told. I could feel the presence.

We finished, turned into the wind - the cool lonely wind of the West Coast. We took to the air. I could still sense being watched.

Perhaps they are true, those legends of thousands of years. Perhaps the stone eagle really is ‘The Guardian of the Pass."

This serigraph is from September 1987 and is signed, numbered (22/50) and titled in original by the artist. The print size is 22 inches or close to 56 centimeters wide and 29 1/2 inches or 75 centimeters high. 

The print is in excellent condition and has no visual imperfections. 

The price includes shipping without the frame.

* Colours of artwork may not be exactly as seen on screen.