Vickie Jensen fonds [multiple media] / Vickie Jensen

Supplied title note
Title is based on the creator of the records.
Fonds number
Physical description
0.5 m of multiple media
Physical description note
55 sheets of contact prints graphic images; 59 sheets of 35 mm. photographic negatives; 11 slides; 128 cassette tapes
Administrative history / Biographical sketch

Vickie Jensen is a writer, photographer, and editor who has worked with and written about Aboriginal culture and people for more than 30 years. With her husband Jay Powell, she has produced 30-40 schoolbooks in a variety of Aboriginal languages and co-written Quileute: An Introduction to the Indians of LaPush (1976). Jensen also chronicled the carving and raising of a totem pole designed by Nisga'a carver Norman Tait for the Native Education Centre in Where The People Gather: Carving A Totem Pole (1992). The title was derived from the name of the totem, Wil Sayt Bakwhlgat, meaning ‘the place where the people gather.’ Her collaboration with a Nisga'a totem pole carving crew was repackaged and republished in paperback as Totem Pole Carving: Bringing a Log to Life (2004). It also resulted in a children's book Carving a Totem Pole (1994). Jensen later wrote and published The Totem Poles of Stanley Park (2004). Jensen and Powell designed and wrote the CD Rom project Nagwa'am for U'Mista Cultural Society (2001).

As the editor of Westcoast Mariner magazine, Jensen traveled on coastal tugs, charter yachts, dredges, ferries and water taxis for nearly four years, interviewing skippers, crews and owners about maritime work. She is the author of Saltwater Women at Work (1995) and a student guide, Working These Waters (1996). She is also the co-author of several maritime niche books including Build Your Own Underwater Robot and Other Wet Projects (1997) and Build Your Own Programmable Lego Submersible (1998), both of which she self-published. With T.A. McLaren, she recalled the coastal history of his family’s Allied Shipbuilders Ltd. with Ships of Steel: A British Columbia Shipbuilder's Story (2000).

Scope & content

The records in this fonds relate to Jensen’s research for the book "Saltwater Women at Work". She began her research in 1993, interviewing 110 women who had all earned their living working on boats or ships in British Columbia. These women worked on vessels of all types: deep sea ships and coastal freighters, charter yachts, fish boats, ferries, Coast Guard and DFO vessels, tugboats and water taxis. The women held positions that included deckhands and skippers, oilers and engineers, mates and radio operators, cooks and marine instructors. The women worked the marine waterways throughout British Columbia, from the Queen Charlottes and Prince Rupert in the north, to Rainy Bay on the west coast, and the Lower Mainland to the south. As an outcome of her interviews, Jensen decided to broaden the focus of the project from a look at interesting individuals to include the role and impact of maritime women both in BC and nationally.

Records in the fonds consist of interview cassette tapes and corresponding transcripts, and photographs taken by Jensen for use in the book.


Series reflect the way the files were organized by the creator. The files in Series 1 are organized alphabetically by last name.

Related materials
See the publication Saltwater Women at Work by Vickie Jensen.
Reproductions: Contact Vickie Jensen for any publication uses. Any women quoted or used in future publication sources must be contacted for permission.
Access: Consult with Archivist.