Controversial Canadian psychologist and best-selling author Jordan Peterson has launched a GoFundMe to help a man in Williams Lake whose house burned down.
Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is known for his book 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos which has sold millions of copies and he's known for attracting both support and criticism for his views on political correctness and identity politics.
He is now raising money to in support of Charles Joseph, also known as Boone, an internationally acclaimed Kwakwaka'wakw carver living in Williams Lake.
Joseph is renowned for making masks, totem poles, canoes and other carvings including a 55-foot pole that now resides at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
However, he has suffered multiple hardships in the past few weeks as in early 2023 his wife Frankie died and then on Feb. 11 a fire started in his workshop.
The fire quickly spread to his home and destroyed everything. He made attempts to recover art he was working on and had recently competed but the fire was spreading fast in the shop fuelled by the cedar he works with.
Joseph and his children are currently camped out in a motel and he has no way to continue working on his art.
Peterson has donated $10,000 of his own dollars to the GoFundMe campaign.
In the campaign, he explains he met Joseph about 20 years ago in Comox, on Vancouver Island when he bought a few pieces of his work.
Then eight years ago Joseph came to stay with Peterson and his wife to help them design the third floor of their home in Toronto in the style of a Kwakwaka'wakw Big House.
Joseph was also interviewed about his life story on one of Peterson’s podcast episodes released in 2022.
“We've talked a fair bit over the last few months about Frankie's death, its impact on the children, and the sequelae for Charles. It's been a brutal time for his family. I was therefore shocked to hear the additional bad news from him a few days ago,” said Peterson.
“I have reached out to Charles to offer help, as have other people in his social network. But it's quite the catastrophe. The insurance situation is not clear: Charles had just recently moved into this house and the transition from previous owner to current had not been finalized.”
Peterson said he spoke to a few of Joseph’s friends and decided to set up the GoFundMe page to help Joseph get back on his feet.
“I'm planning to help Charles re-establish his shop, and his house, and to help out his kids -- to set him up to carve again as soon as possible. If you'd like to aid in the effort, that would be much appreciated.”
As of publication, the GoFundMe campaign has since raised $31,454 of a $180,000 goal. You can also find out more about Charles Joseph’s work through his website.