Wood Carving Workshops - 2020 *postponed

*Workshops postponed until further notice. Join master carver, Joe Martin, for a 2-day carving workshop. Gain hands-on woodworking experience as Joe shares his knowledge of carving & the natural laws that govern this ancient Nuu-chah-nulth tradition.


January 25 - April 26, 2020


Joe Martin & West Coast NEST


Joe Martin


Monks Property (Načiks)
Tofino, BC


Join Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Master Carver, Joe Martin in this 2-day carving workshop series. Joe Martin will introduce the traditional art of Nuu-chah-nulth wood carving and share important cultural teachings.

Two types of workshops available to choose from:

Bentwood Box Workshop: Joe Martin will introduce the traditional teachings and uses of the Huupukwanum, or bentwood box. The Huupukwanum has many practical uses for the Nuu-chah-nulth people but is also strongly rooted in culture and symbolizes the teachings, rights, dances and songs held by the chiefs. Participants will have the opportunity to design, steam and fasten their own bentwood cedar box.

Dates: Jan 25 & 26 | Feb 1 & 2 | Mar 14 & 15

Paddle Workshop: Another symbol of Nuuchahnulth culture and pride is the paddle. With the creation of modern canoe tribal journeys we are seeing a resurgence of interest in the paddle. Joe Martin will introduce the basics of design and traditional teachings of the Nuu-chah-nulth paddle. Participants will have the opportunity to design, shape and carve their own paddle.

Dates: Feb 15 & 16* | Apr 11 & 12 | Apr 25 & 26

*family-oriented workshop for parents and youth to learn together.

Workshop learning objectives:

  • How to identify, harvest and prepare the wood for their carving projects
  • How to safely use and care for their carving tools
  • How to visualize, plan and design a wood carving project 
  • Gain hands-on practical experience

Joe Martin, is a rare Tla-o-qui-aht master canoe carver and genuine ambassador for his nation. He learned this ancient tradition from his father, the late Chief Robert Martin Sr. and continues to seek out opportunities to pass on these important cultural teachings.

A natural-born storyteller, Joe shares his passion and knowledge in a way that is easy for others to understand. He hopes to enrich community life by reviving ancient cultural practices and sharing his knowledge with future generations.

Funding assistance provided by First Peoples Cultural Council. Bursaries are available for Nuu-chah-nulth members (please inquire).


Don't see a date that works for you? Inquire about custom course options. Workshops are hosted at Monks Property (Načiks) in Tofino. Follow Main Street to the very end of West Street past the hostel.

Course fee:


How to register:

Send an email to West Coast NEST or reach out to Joe directly.