Haida Gwaii

The Guardians, SGang GwaaySGang Gwaay Mortuary PolesSGang Gwaay LonghouseHaida Gwaii Inland RiverHaida Gwaii AnchorageSkedansTanu LonghouseHaida Gwaii RainforestBalancing Rock on Hecate StraitBalancing Rock on Hecate StraitRocks on Agate Beach, Graham IslandBarnacles and Sea BeansAnna HarborDowned Totem, SkedansHaida Gwaii RainforestLeaning Skedan TotemsMasset Cemetery Family PlotMasset GraveyardMorning VisitationSGang Gwaay WaterfrontSGang Gwaay HarborSitkas Overtaking Tanu LonghouseTanu Downed LonghouseTanu Longhouse

Haida Gwaii is a grouping of islands north of Vancouver Island, 75 miles offshore, and is home of the Haida Indians. I first visited Haida Gwaii when it was called the Queen Charlotte Islands back in 1977. It was a very deserted and wild destination. Today, the Haida are in charge and they control the visitation of the southern part of the island chain where the deserted family villages still stand today. They were deserted during the smallpox epidemic in the early 1900s when over 90% of the Haida population died. Today, after many of the village artifacts have been removed by theft or well-meaning historians, there are few remaining totems or longhouses remaining. SGang Gwaay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning that some monies have been spent to preserve what totems are still standing. The young Haida generation that we met while sailing their homeland have great pride and possess a dignity that is reminiscent of their past glory days. It is a destination not to be missed by those seeking not only great sailing, but a glimpse of the past life of a Northwest Indian culture.